It’s high time I posted at least one Maow Miniaturesreview. Fortunately I have a chance to review one sweet but tiny miniature from them – a little devil in a nappy: Hell baby.
This little beauty came to me as a gift form Slawol (thx sooooo much mate!) in a little plastic bag.
That’s the standard Maow packaging as far as I know. At least when it comes to those tiny minis (that’s my 5th Maow mini for now btw). Maybe they use blisters or something else for bigger pieces, I don’t know.
Inside the bag
The mini is
and in 3 pieces (you use just two of them):
hand with a rakes
hand with a little trident
As you can see on pictures, cast isn’t extremely clean, there are some specks of resin that looks like residues after casting and two or three delicate mold lines. But is should be easy enough to clean. In fact good old toothbrush and warm soap should do the trick with the little thingies and few minutes with scalpel should be enough to get rid of the mold lines. As far I can see there is just one little air bubble on his little toe, but a drop of Mr Surfacer should fix it.
I don’t see the point of describing every and each of my Maow minis. They are pretty much the same quality: funny concepts, beautiful details, a lot of character, small mold lines sometimes, a bit of ‘resin dirt’ and air bubble from time to time.
Maybe not perfect but still good enough and enjoyable.
My personal opinion about the company
I guess with 5 minis at home I can afford some generalization:
good enough quality (all the issues are easy to fix)
I’m really looking forward to buy more of their minis, maybe some monster bottles this time??
Where to buy
The company itself sells minis only in France (mostly because of the shipping costs), but on their website you can find list of online stores in other countries where you can buy their stuff.
While I was working on the insignia for my Salamanders army (you may wish to check the article on how I made it), it was obvious to me that I was going to need some nice bases to go with. I decided to get some pre-cast bases, and after browsing quite a lot of brands that were proposing some nice models in their range, the range of ForgeCraft Games bases included exactly what I was looking for: some bases with a little bit of rock, and a little bit of lave. I choose the “Fire and Brimstone”, it was perfectly fitting the fluff of the Salamanders and their original world: Nocturne.
What you get for your money
This shop proposes a few models in their catalog, and for each product, they offer you the possibility to get either a complete set of a size or a selection of some models from the same size.
I chose one complete set of each size (25mm, 40mm and 60mm). Each set costs respectively 16.50 USD, 11.75 USD and 8.15 USD. They contain 25, 8 and 2 resin bases.
So basically for 36.40 USD (that’s around 26€), you’re getting a nice amount of bases (35 bases of different sizes). Shipping cost isn’t that expensive. For one complete set of each size, I paid 9.60 USD (that’s around 7€).
And if you’re lucky like I was, you’ll get 10 x 40mm instead of 8, like it’s said on the bag which gives you two more designs:
As you may notice, the bases got a single design for each of the bases of the different sizes, so there are little chances you have the same model on the same squad (unless you’re going for a squad of more than 25 guys). There are enough flat surfaces on each one of them, so that you won’t need to have your figures stepping in lava to attach minis to bases. Also, like the ones that Nameless presented in his review, designs are not overly complicated, which should save time required to paint them.
Here’s an example of a good cast.
Contrary to the ones Nameless presented in his review of Dark Art Miniatures bases, there weren’t many casting issues.Only a few had small mold residues and a few weren’t completely flat. You can see it on this picture:
ForgeCraft Gamesare clearly providing a good quality of bases that’ll for sure fit most themes of your armies. They’re of the proper diameters, they got different yet simple designs and are still not that expensive for the quality and quantity you’re getting.
The little casting issues aren’t clearly something that should stop you buying those bases, overall, the quality is really good, and considering the amount of casting issues I had on the whole set (I order enough to have 100 x 25mm bases), I think I can live with like 5-6 bases that have mold residues or aren’t completely flat. A little bit of cleaning or polishing and you’re good to go.
When I ordered, I had an issue while I was placing my order so I contacted the shop. They’re based in Irvine California, so I had to wait the next day to get an answer, though they were pretty fast answering and from the few emails that were exchanged, I can tell that they’re really nice people who like what they’re doing and who want to provide their customer the best products.
Inmy opinion, ForgeCraft Gamesaren’t perhaps providing the largest catalogue like other companies, but they do provide a nice customer service (which is pretty hard to get these days) and really good products with nice casting quality considering the price ratio. I do hope they continue like this while proposing some more models to their catalogue.
So here’s a simple tutorial on how to make movement trays. It’s the most basic way to make a tray for both normal and magnetic bases for minis, but it can add a lot to the visual impact the miniatures make.
What we need to make a movement tray
Here’s what we shall need:
a plate of thin steel (less than a milimiter will do but as long as you can cut it with scissors it’s fine)
a few pieces of balsa wood
super glue / PVC glue(any gloue for wood will do)
paints and some static grass
How to make movement trays
Cutting the movement tray
First: Let’s cut us a base for our tray! You must decide what kind of a tray you need. For example 3 ranks of 10 Games Workshop normal infantry is 10x20mm of width and 3×20 in depth. This will be the space inside the tray so it’s better to make it a little bit bigger.
For the mentioned example: 10x20mm is 200mm width and 60 mm depth. I usually add 15 to 20mm for to both length and width so that there will be more space in the tray and the unit will not be pushed tightly together. This is important for some units of minis can’t be placed in base to base for a number of reasons.
Also there must be some extra space for the side bars. Once you’ve decided how big must the base be, draw it on the piece of steel and cut it with scissors.
Making sides for our movement tray
Now we have our base for the tray. Cut the balsa wood so that you will have pairs of side bars. You might want to make 4 sides or 3 and leave the back of the tray open. I usually make 4 so the unit will not fall out while being moved. Glue them to the steel with the super glue. Hold it while the glue dries and make sure the side bars go well with the edges of the steel plate.
So here we have something that looks like a movement tray. Let’s make it presentable. Take the PVC glue and put it on the outer sides of the sidebars leaving the interior side and the underside (obviously) of the tray clean of glue. Once you applied the glue to one side of the tray throw some sand onto the tray’s side. The glue will catch the sand. Try to remove any sand that sticks to the bottom or the internal part of the tray. Try to do one side at a time.
Let the tray dry off again and one more time CHECK IF THERE IS NO EXCESS SAND INSIDE THE TRAY! CLEAN IT WITH A KNIFE (or some other tool) while the glue is still wet.
Painting the movement tray
Once the tray is dry paint it black with a base coat of black spray and now drybrush the sides of the tray with the colours of choice (for a typical summer tray I use Scorched Earth,Bestial Brown and Bleached Bone of the Games Workshop Citadel paints.)
Now that this is done take the PVC glue again and make a few dots of it along the sides and throw some static grass on the dots of PVC.
And voila! The movement tray is ready! Making it probably takes less time than it takes to read this text. 😀
Here’s an example what a unit of miniatures can look on such a movement tray. The tray looks OK, don’t you think?
EXPLANATION: While the post was supposed to be not-quite-serious and written with the tongue-in-a-cheek approach, some people took it pretty seriously. Still, some interesting discussion arose from it, so we thought it’s good to keep the post, but with the declaration of the original intention.
People often discuss which miniatures they like the most, which releases were the coolest, and what they would like to paint. Now we had a totally different idea!
Throughout the years many ugly miniatures have been made. Not only ugly, but also badly sculpted, or based on bad or ridiculous concepts. It’s time to find them, collect them and to find the worst one of all! 😀
When we started the discussion at our forum, it seemed obvious that everybody’s first candidate was Nagash. Some must have even wondered if there can be anything to beat this ugly model. But we have good news for you! We collected 25 miniatures which will compete for the title of the worst miniature ever made! And believe me – Nagash cannot be so sure of keeping his title!
We created a little poll for you to vote. Please review our candidates, and choose your favorites. The winner of this round will compete with a few next winners for the title of the ultimate Worst Miniature Ever Made!
Candidate #1: Nagash [Games Workshop]
This used to be unrivalled favorite in the ‘worst miniatures’ category before some other candidates were found.
Taking a quick look at the original artwork and comparing it to the sculpt reveals all the horrbile truths about this model. What was supposed to be the most sinister lord of the undead, became a poorly sculpted clown. Unfortunately there are many others, who try hard to earn the title of the worst miniature ever made!
Candidate #2: Sunbathing Orc [Metal Magic]
If you don’t have a strong mind, better don’t check a full-sized photo of this miniature. It’s a challenge to your sanity! You will see an orc with all the anatomical details, and it’s not a pretty sight. Well, you’ve been warned… It’s great that sculpting quality isn’t too good on this one. 😉
Candidate #3: Ariel [Games Workshop]
Some people claim the model is not bad at all. But some can’t accept this huge butterfly lady as the queen of wood elves. Although Games Workshop’s sculptors often proved they see female beauty in their own special way, this is one of the times they outdid themselves! Just look at Ariel, the Queen of Athel Loren and behold the fullness of her beauty!
Candidate #4: Wet Nurse [Kingdom Death]
OK, this is a strong candidate. Maybe not bad as far as sculpting skills go, but the concept is controversial at least. Some say it’s offensive with all the private parts exposed here and there, some say it’s only ridiculous. If you want to see a penis-nosed snail in a shoe, check this miniature out. You will get a raping tail and lots of arms and boobs as a bonus 😉
Candidate #5: Infant Sunstalker [Kingdom Death]
Kingdom Death again! This time with a vomiting toad of many arms. Need to say more about how silly this concept is? Or is the photo enough for you?
It wouldn’t be all that bad if it was a small miniature, but this beast is not small. Call it a classic if you want, but it’s difficult to defend such a sculpt. Here it goes – for your viewing pleasure 🙂
UPDATE: As we learned from the comments left by our readers, the model was labeled “Mezoghoul” by mistake. Probably the author didn’t want to give it a second look, which would be necessary to correct the typo. 😉
Candidate #7: Musician [Rackham]
Although Rackham was famous for their great sculpts (and poor business decisions), they had several memorable pitfalls, too. This musician os one of them. General concept and composition make it one of their classics for sure.
Candidate #8: Archaon on foot [Games Workshop]
Now we’re back to Games Workshop’s models. Although some people stand in defense of this model, we will not try to ruin its chances of claiming the title! While the mounted version of Archaon became a classic (especially for its monumental pose and excellent steed), this one is just an opposite. It looks like a quick and poor conversion of the mounted version. The legs look a bit awkward and the general proportions don’t help – huge and massive legs plus a tiny head are a killer combo!
Candidate #9: Great Space Ape [TinMan Miniatures]
Unless you’re much into retro sci-fi, you may find this concept disturbing or at least weird. Maybe it will be enough to make it a winner for you?
Candidate #10: Mind Eater [Reaper]
Reaper Miniatures presented many surprising sculpts in their catalogue. This one became a candidate for the title of the worst miniature ever made. Isn’t it cute in its way? So what is it? A brain on insect legs with leaf-shaped claws? If it isn’t enough for you, take a look at the amazing sculpting quality and behold the mind eater!
Candidate #11: Dark Elf Witch Elf [Games Workshop]
Games Workshop must have mastered the art of making excellent female models! Here they are again with dark elf witch elves. Fantastic and well sculpted haircuts and beautiful faces are what these models… surely don’t have. And anybody who thinks weapons should be at least usable will be surprised with the funny objects they carry…
Candidate #12: Barbarian [Assassin Miniaturen]
If you’ve never been to a body building contest, you will reconsider any chance of seeing one after taking a closer look at this barbarian. His muscles must be the example of beautifully built masculine beauty. The question is only: Is he human, or some other species? No human I’ve ever seen looked like this. But maybe barbarians have different muscles than us, modern humans?
Candidate #13: Tiki the Wood Golem [Reaper]
Now, focus for a few seconds: It’s not a toy, it’s not a cheap toy. It’s a miniature from Reaper. Just take a look at those wonderful proportions, great texture of wood and excellent facial expression. Add to this its great body shape, stance and you have another candidate for our title!
Candidate #14: Minotaurs [Games Workshop]
If you know what smoked ham looks like, you don’t have to look at those minotaurs. Or maybe take a minotaur and put it on your sandwich instead of ham? The official paintjob didn’t help those guys, but if you take a look at the way their muscles are sculpted, you will be amazed how creative the sculptor good. Or maybe they live on the same planet as candidate #12?
Taban Miniatures and their Eden line of miniatures are most likely known for nice miniatures in post-apocalyptic theme. They ooze character, and generally look cool. But sometimes you want to ooze too much and look too cool. That’s what you get for trying too hard:
UPDATE: Thanks to information from Mohand we know that the sculpt was rejected and wasn’t released. Good decision, guys. But we can’t allow this little gem to be unknown by people 😉
We can’t recall the name of this model, but it’s a good miniature from the Warzone game. The face is another interesting approach to sculpting female faces, but this time the sculptor was pretty successful… at making her look like Whoopi Goldberg. Is this enough to make it a good miniature? Don’t think so…
If you can tell us the name of the model, it will be very helpful!
UPDATE: Thanks to Thomas Schadle we know the name of this model now.
Candidate #17: Imperial Rams Air Cavalry [Target Games/Heartbreaker]
Fortunately this time Warzone gave us another chance to show something remarkable! Take a look at this soldier and compare it to the original artwork. Don’t you see real combat stress and exhaustion on his face. Boy, it’s a real war face! Or should he be given a latrine instead of the rocket? 😀
Are we done with Warzone? Are we done with Target Games and Heartbreaker yet? No! Without this dusk realm demon this list wouldn’t be complete! And to give you some explanation of how horrifying this thing is, let me quote this description:
…the Dusk Realm Demon is a brute in every sense of the word. It exists only to kill and maim and while it is given to fits of blinding rage, it commands a keen intellect. These Demons seem at home in the utter dark of the Under Realms and the sweltering twilight of the deep jungles. So hideous is the presence of a Dusk Realm Demon that it causes abject fear in all who encounter it and like its smaller cousin, is capable of devastating attacks with its horned head. A charging Dusk Realm Demon has been known to be able to withstand the charge of a Bull Myrmadon…..
Shouldn’t this miniature be called “Stygian venom spider spawn” – it will remain a mystery. But even without the mystery you can see that it’s a really uncommon sculpt. A model which will have its place in the history of miniature painting hobby.
Candidate #20: Bad Girls [Fenryll]
Fenryll must be one of the masters of creating mediocre sculpts and presenting them with mediocre paintjobs. But sometimes they do something that really shines. Something that will change your concepts of ugly and nice. Just see what their bad girls look like. Most likely they won’t need any further comments…
Candidate #21: Kaos Monster [Acheson Creations]
Why would one sculpt such a thing? Why would one buy such a thing?
And no, it’s not a small mini. Can’t justify it with size. It’s big and it’s memorable. It’s even unforgettable. Solid candidate to the throne!
Candidate #22: Wild Dunger [Ramshackle Games]
This one will be haunting you in your dreams. And prepare for some worse news: There are more of them. And a huge version of a dunger, with lots of crew on platforms, nicknamed a “fork lift with idiots on top”. Are you brave enough to see it, follow the link to the thread on our forum. Yes, you need to see all the pages! 🙂
Candidate #23: Wight Lord [Heresy Miniatures]
Mr. I-believe-I-can-fly, or maybe a gymnast? Or maybe he’s dancing zbójnicki – a Polish regional dance? Aside from the pose, sculpting quality alone would be enough to impress us! Just take a look at the armor he’s wearing. It’s some plate armor and… no, it can’t be chainmail. Chainmail doesn’t look like a cloth with holes. Or does it?
Candidate #24: Drakon Riders [Mantic Games]
If Mantic Games were supposed to release a wargame with 10mm miniatures, these would be decent dragon riders for the scale. Unfortunately they’re not 10mm and they’re not cool. Enjoy or watch out..
Nameless already described this model so well, that adding anything would be ruining this description which already reveals all the assets of this model! But read it by yourselves:
Please note the pretty face, cool anatomy, street lamp with height suitable for a dwarven city and clever use of that lamp to create the flight effect… guys, stop it, she IS FLYING…
I’ve just noticed two… spherical objects (no, I will NOT use word “balls” here) in a very unfortunate place, right under her left palm…
Vote for your favorites
This poll will run for a month, which means it will be open until the end of November. Until then you can vote for your favorite three miniatures from the list. This will allow us to find out which miniatures are the worst of them all. So…
UPDATE: We removed the poll, because it is closed now. The results were posted in a separate announcement.
That’s (not) all, folks!
The subject is so wide and there are so many gems to be found, that we decided to allow more candidates to be entered. When we have 50 candidates, we will allow to vote on the next 25 (candidates #26-50). And after a few such polls, we will make grand finals, to find out the ultimate winner of the title of the Worst Miniature Ever Made.
If you would like to add your own candidates to the list, feel free to add them in comments here, in the respective thread on our forum, or respond to one of the Worst Miniature announcements on our facebook page. Thanks a lot!
And in the meantime, please vote for your favorite candidates. Support the worst miniature of your choice! 😀
PS – most photos were found on the internet and used without permission of their respective authors. If you are one of them and want your photo removed – let us know and we will remove it at your request.
I guess there is no need to introduce JMD miniatures, French company that released such great sculpts like: Demon, Persian Assasin, Huri Khan and plenty others (even historical pieces).
Quite recently I bought from them 3 minis: two busts (ghoul and octopus) and Succube, maybe not classically beautiful but very powerful mini, at least for me.
Succube is scale 54 mm, sculpted by Allan Carrasco, and of course cast in resin.
The mini comes in a box in which you can find 6 parts: body, two arms, sword, hair and base.
WOW!! Beautifully cast mini, almost flawless with a lot of details (even few quite disturbing ones).
Quality of the cast is very good. After a long time I mangaged to find just one small mold line on the shoulder pad, and sword’s hilt. The second one will take me a bit longer to fix, because of the fine details in this area, but still it’s not such important part of the mini, so it shouldn’t be a big problem.
The only thing that might be an issue are sprues of resin coming from the left hand. Especially the one next to the elbow. But still I think the quality of the cast is pretty amazing.
As far I can see assembling shouldn’t be a big problem. Parts seems to fit quite nicely.
For a painter, well it can be a tricky mini to paint. She’s basically naked, with strong, for some people ugly, face. But on the other hand, her naked body is a nice place to do some freehands, maybe animal patterns or tatoos:)
Definitely not a mini for everyone.
First of all, she’s naked with all the anatomical details.
Second: her face – it’s not classically beautiful, some people might even say she’s ugly.
Third: because the mini is so simple, with static pose, there is nothing that can turn the attention from the paintjob itself.
But if you think that she’s the one for you, go for it 🙂 It’s really beautiful piece