Games Workshop: FineCast Jabberslythe – Review

Jabberslythe is a brand new Games Workshop model following the “We-need-big-monsters” trend assumed some time ago by that company. It was released as a part of their (in)famous Finecast range of resin miniatures.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

FineCast or not so fine cast?

This huge beast, barely fitting the 100 x 50 mm base it comes with, is packed in the standard GW box. Its size is also well reflected in pricing. You can buy Jabberslythe for 40 GBP (66 USD, 52 €). For that price you will get 14 pieces requiring cleaning and assembly; and a plastic rectangular base. These bits are of course attached to few sprues. Frankly speaking, all the stories about quality of Finecast models caused that I was pretty nervous while checking my copy of Jabberslythe. After all, that’s a lot of money I paid for it. The first quick look was actually pretty reassuring, but then I’ve started to check every single piece.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

As you can see, there are no problems with the cast. Bits are clean, details quite crisp, no air bubbles. What happened to the frame though?

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

It’s so heavily deformed, that in few cases resin bits connecting elements within the sprue were broken. I’m pretty sure that all this had an impact on shape of individual pieces. We’ll get back to it later. Another frame, another issue. Lots of flash requiring cutting off. Nothing really problematic, but it will add some time during preparation of the mini for painting.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

More examples of deformed frames and flash:

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

There are not many mould lines, but some of them will be annoying to remove, especially one across teeth of the beast. I haven’t seen any air bubbles on bigger surfaces, but it is really clear that GW has problems with smaller, thinner elements.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

You can see that spikes are cast poorly. Such imperfection could be found on almost every similar piece of this model. My first thought was that this is not a real problem, as it is a chaos monster. Casting mistakes like broken spikes can easily by justified or hidden (e.g. air bubble is a wound leaking with blood). What would happen though if I bought a slick eldar tank or elven mage? I guess I wouldn’t be too happy in such case. After checking quality of the cast I tried to fit few elements. There are several pieces with pegs or slots which should make assembly easy.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

It should, but it doesn’t. Gaps between different parts are sometimes extremely wide. I wonder if deformations shown above contributed to this problem.

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

Man, you will need a lot of putty to fill these! Many companies already proved that you actually can cast a multi-part model which requires just a minimal amount of gap filling. GW, please, ask them how to do it or at least add some green stuff to every box!

Photo: FineCast Jabberslythe - Review

The sculpt itself is nothing special. I usually like big monsters, and this one is no exception, but some of the painters may be looking for something more… sophisticated. On the other hand, it’s a model provided for gamers and it will sure look impressive on the gaming table.

Jabberslythe review: conclusion

So, do I recommend this model? Well, if you’re not a gamer, there are more interesting alternatives for your collection on the market. If you’re a gamer (with a WFB Beastmen army) you’ll probably get this one no matter what I’ve written here.

As a final word I’d like to repeat my request: GW, get to work and improve the quality!

— Nameless

Miniature of the month: December 2011

Blame it on our sea.man a.k.a. czlowiek.morze! It was his idea to start this whole Miniature of the Month event and to make it a monthly regular attraction for our miniature painting community. But it would be unfair to pretend we don’t enjoy it…

Now we’re stepping out and inviting you to join the fun!
But let me explain to you what the whole thing is all about…

How it all started

It was in August 2011 that czlowiek.morze proposed a nice pastime for our miniature painting forum members: He would collect all the new paintjobs presented on the forum by its members during the previous month, and we would vote for one of them.

We collect all the new paintjobs presented on the forum by its members during the previous month and vote for the favorite one.

Initially we played with the idea of choosing our favorite miniature of all, including the ones we found elsewhere, like on CoolMiniOrNot or other internet galleries or forums, but eventually we decided to limit it to the works created and posted by our forum members. Also it was them who was allowed to vote for their favorite. Of course comments would be encouraged, because they would explain why one chose a particular miniature.

The first edition featured miniatures posted in July, and then we kept voting for the next few months. We were very curious how different results would be achieved if voting was open to public. We knew they would be different, and so we wanted to see the difference. This is how we reached the point where we are now:

After tinkering with technical issues, we’re ready for the first public voting for the Miniature of the Month here! Why don’t you join the fun and post your vote and comment? 🙂

Miniature of the Month – rules

As you can see, the rules are very few:

You can only vote for one miniature. Choose the one which deserves to be the miniature of the month in your opinion. You can choose one of the miniatures collected by the coordinator, sea.man. He collects the miniatures posted by the members of our miniature painting community on our forum and creates a list of candidates to the title. In case there is more than one work from the same person, sea.man chooses one of them, but if the author prefers to enter a different one – it suffices to contact sea.man (czlowiek.morze) on our forum and he will make the adjustment.

We don’t say the voting is for “the best painted miniature of the month” because it doesn’t have to be the best painted one. It just has to be the one that in your opinion deserves the title the most of them all.

Bear in mind we don’t say the voting is for “the best painted miniature of the month” because it doesn’t have to be the best painted one. It just has to be the one that in your opinion deserves the title the most of them all. Maybe because it’s the best paintjob, maybe because the overall effect is so impressive despite some technical shortcomings, maybe because the author did something revolutionary for him, or maybe because the painter made the largest progress of them all during that month.

It’s really up to you, as long as you believe your voting is fair and can explain it. That is why commenting is an important part of the whole fun. Those words of explanation are not only showing the reasons for which you chose that particular model, but often also are a great encouragement and motivation to the author of the model of your choice. So please be so kind to write those few words and explain your choice. It’s not required but always appreciated!

When the voting is over, the winner is announced and receives an award: a honorary badge (or a medal to be more precise) displayed in their profile on our forum. Even if it’s not much, it allows others to see that the person won such a poll already. And well, it’s shiny 😀

UPDATE: Starting with miniature of February 2012 the rules have been changed. Please check the information about the changes to know what changed.

Wanna join?

If you would like to participate to the fullest, why don’t you post your works on our miniature painting forum? The whole event is coordinated by sea.man (czlowiek.morze), who will surely notice your works and submit them to the poll for that month. And before your works can be voted for, you can take a look at the miniatures posted to our forum in December.

There were 25 painters who posted new works to the Chest of Colors forum. Here you can see the painted miniatures they posted in December 2011:

If you are a member of our miniature painting community and visit our forum, you may be familiar with most of these painters. You surely have your opinion which miniature deserves the title of the Miniature of the Month for December 2011 the most. And if you don’t, why don’t you spend some time on the forum, getting to know the people there and watching their works. And we hope you’re going to leave your vote in the poll below.

Voting has ended.

We will allow the poll to run a bit longer than we did before, because we are publishing it a bit later, too. We give you two weeks for voting, which means the poll will be closed on February 5th, 2012.

We hope that it’s enough time for you to submit your votes and to leave some comments for our readers and for the authors of entered works. And maybe we will see your works in the poll for January 2012? The next editions will still be coordinated by czlowiek.morze (sea.man), so if you have any questions or suggestions regarding our event – feel free to share them on the forum or in the comments below. Thank you!

So it is all for now. Enjoy the pictures and choose wisely. 🙂

Results

UPDATE: The winner for December 2011 is Flameon. Congratulations!

Romeo Models: Jean Bart – Review

Don’t we all love presents? Especially when we get them. 🙂

Today I will tell you about a present I got from my wife – Jean Bart from Romeo Models. The company is an interesting alternative to such known companies as Andrea or Pegaso. It doesn’t have such long history and that’s why it’s good to know what do you get for your money. 😉 So let’s move on to my Romeo Models “Jean Bart” review:

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Background

Jean Bart (21 October 1651 – 27 April 1702) was a Flemish sailor who primarily served the French crown as naval commander and privateer. He captured a total of 386 ships and also sank or burned a great number more. You may find the wikipedia entry about Jean Bart interesting to see, because of a portrait from another painter.

The miniature is a 3D copy of a painting from French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review
Original painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

What’s in the box

The miniature measures 75 mm. It came in a big box, everything was well packed. The sponge was so thick, that the parts were tight in it. The miniature consists of 23 parts plus a mirror-like sticker:

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Jean Bart – the corsair

Jean Bart is made of 11 parts from white metal. At first it is a bit tricky to put it all together, but after a bit of playing with it you find a way. 🙂 The casting is very detailed. You can see how good it is on scarves, hair or ring on hand. The surface on the face is flat and doesn’t need much work. Of course there are mold lines, but nothing that needs more work and should be easily removed.

Parts fit well together. I wouldn’t call it a perfect match, because there are gaps, but nothing special that you wouldn’t fill with a bit of modeling putty.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Wait, there’s more!

The other objects are table – 4 parts and chair – 4 parts. Those are super detailed and really great sculpted. They need a bit more cleaning from mold lines and I am not sure why. Especially detailed fragments will need some extra attention.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

The floor and wall are made from resin. Here is a bit of disappointment – the quality isn’t that good as metal parts. There are some bubble holes on the side and much more cleaning will be needed. I also think that there is a difference in the wood texture between floor and wall. The wall has much more details, and those aren’t casted that well at some part. Fortunately the worst part is under the table and will not be that visible.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

A really nice addition is mirror sticker that you can stick as a mirror. Of course you can try to paint the mirror reflection on your own. 😉

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Conclusion

I can easily say that it is a piece of art. Full of character, great composition and a really demanding piece to paint. From artistic point of view I would rate it 10 points out of maximum 10. With my new love for big scale models I am not being very objective…

When talking about this mini, you have to mention the price. It is expensive – 75 EUR and I am not quite sure if it’s worth that much money. Other 75mm miniatures from Romeo cost 45EUR. Of course here you get more parts – table, chair, resin floor and wall, but does it make it so more expensive? That is why -1 point here.

There is a difference in quality between metal and resin parts. Maybe resin is a new technology to Romeo and they are still learning to master it? I mean new in production, not that Romeo didn’t sooner know about it. These parts aren’t perfect, but also they aren’t that much visible and will be easy to fill/clean. But still -0,5 point.

Final score: 8,5/10.

I came up with an idea of going to see the Jean-Léon Gérôme’s painting in real, but unfortunately it is in hands of a private collector. It would be nice to have a picture with this miniature painted and the real painting behind my back 🙂 I you are that private collector or you know him, send me a message on Chest of Colors forum 😀

My plans for the model? You will see it in person at Hussar 2012.

— Czlowiek.morze