New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012

Every month there are many new releases from different companies. Those releases go from simple conversion kit (heads, shoulders, legs) to minis of various sizes without forgetting accessories. We decided to have a look on what has been released over March and April, and what you see here is a selection of our favorites.

You’ll find here a compilation of what we think are the most interesting releases of these months. I would like to present you some of those most interesting in my opinion. There is always place for the discussion, so feel free to post your favourites from recent releases.

If you know new company, then tell us about it too, we’re always looking for some news ranges.

We’d like to thank all Chest of Colors members that post information about new miniatures. This article has been written I wrote this article based on their findings posted at the forum.

Of course this list is very personal and shows just two points of view, but we are more than open to talk with you!

Hero scale (heroic or sci-fi):

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (1)

Sea.man: this barbarian from Heresy has really something that makes me wanna buy it. For sure you might say that it is just another well sculpted barbarian, but just look at his facial expression…

Hellspawn: Come on!!! This is just another barbarian, nothing new here, pile of muscles, oversized axe like he needs to compensate for something, and an angry face like he hasn’t pooped. Nothing I’d like to paint. Though, if you want to stay in the barbarian style, have a look at this wip of a female barbarian from the Hasslefree Miniatures range which is really nice and different from what we can usually see.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (2)

Still looking for the male or did I managed to turn you on with the female?

Sea.man: for me Kingdom Death produces two types of miniatures, first are those controversial ones which I don’t understand and second that I like to call normal ones. But for sure this company knows how to release nicely detailed miniatures.

Hellspawn: Ah, I knew you were more a female type of guy 😀 and you’re right, it’s nice to have a change in the weirdness of the previous releases, though, this bunch of minis isn’t what I prefer. But to stay away from the weirdness and come back on something more usual, Reaper Miniatures released this month a nice bunch of minis with this one that caught my attention. She’s perhaps not one of their best minis, but in this batch I liked her.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (4)

Isn’t she lovely with her helmet?

Large scale (54mm or above):

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (5)

Sea.man: Knight Models turns out to be one of the leading large scale companies, the licences to use well known heroes helps a lot, but I think that we have to agree one thing – they really do those characters justice with such great sculpts.

Hellspawn: Yeah, Knight Models is one of the companies that I’m always enjoying the releases of their large scales, they do provide really nice quality products and they use their licences wisely, of course, they did released some lame ones. Do you remember the release of Darth Vader that was made some times ago?

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (6)

He’s totally silly while they could have done great job, on him (of course, this is just my personal pow on it) but it’s true that lately, the releases are just more and more interesting and I’ll for sure try to grab some of the DC releases if I can find some of my favourite super heroes sculpted.

You spoke previously about the Kingdom Death releases and I said that they weren’t really my taste, but I have to admit that this one is really good, she’s nicely sculpted far from the weirdness Kingdom Death usually provides us, she’s sexy, and she has something that attracts me (and no, I’m not talking about the titties here or the thong), she definitely has some character.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (7)

Don’t you think I’m right?

Busts:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (8)

Sea.man: this Hussar bust from Young Miniatures is very close to my heart, because it represents the famous cavalry from Poland. The character of the majestic knight looks very well executed and this panther skin…

Hellspawn: I’m not super excited about busts, I always think they look silly or something is missing, so won’t comment on this one and will just say that the paint job is really nice, as Sea.man said, panther skin is very well executed just like the feathers.

Sexy:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (9)

Sea.man: this sexy lady with big gun, who hunts lions in Africa in steampunk era comes from Castle Miniatures. I think it is a new company, but if they produce more large scale models like this one, then they will become very popular.

Hellspawn: You call that sexy? Sigh, she’s far from sexy, her boobs looks like eggs, she’s not really smiling, and what the hell is this gun? It’s weird, mix of a sniper gun with a melta gun canon…What is she hunting? Giant bugs? Cause she’s definitely not hunting lions in Africa with such a gun and, dressed like that, she’d better be a nice shooter then cause otherwise, she’ll end up in the bug’s belly. 😀 Now, this is what I would call sexy:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (10)

I’ve always been enjoying those Pin-up minis from Andrea Miniatures. They look like coming from the 50’s but the paint job is just insane and make them soo real that I would love to see more of those. Don’t you?

Proxies:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (11)

Sea.man: this Otherworld liche makes a really nice addition to vampire army or war band.

Hellspawn: OH MY GOD! This mini is soooo gonna end in my Vampire Count army, this is for me A MUST HAVE for any Vampires Count or Tomb Kings player.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (12)

Sea.man: those marines (or just call them seamen :D) from Titan Forge look absolutelly fantastic, they are full of character and the ogre with the mermaid is just great! The price (€35 for three) isn’t bad either.

Hellspawn: they’re really nice yes; Titan Forge released lately a nice pack of minis that would suits nicely any Ogre or Vampire Counts armies. Though, Titan Forge aren’t the only ones who did nice alternatives this month, Raging Heroes thought about Dark Elves (and later Dark Eldar) and also the Ork (fantasy and sci-fi ones) players with their releases. They’re launching the “Blood Vestals” and a nice Big Boss

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (13)

Conversions parts/Accessories:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (14)

Sea.man: MaxMini surely knows how to keep up with Games Workshop‘s releases with their bits you can fully customise your Necron army.

Hellspawn: indeed, those heads will surely fits any Games Workshop armies, though, I would have seen those more on a Chaos Space Marines themed on the Thousand Sons than on Necrons but hey, this is just my taste.

Talking about customization, look at what CoolMiniOrNot thought about:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (15)

They previously released the Instant Mold (which you’ll find a review I made here but this month, they released a combo box of Instant Mold and what they called Instant Putty. So basically now, you can:
a) mold your own parts,
and
b) directly “sculpt it”

Don’t you think this is gonna be really helpful? Players are gonna be able to do more personalization for cheaper than before, it’s great!

Of course, considering this article is about new releases and this section about accessories, we couldn’t make an article about monthly releases without talking about the new range of Games Workshop paints and the accessories that goes with:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (16)

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (17)

Though, having nice tools to convert and big range of paints isn’t helpful if you don’t have something to order everything. So here comes Back2Base-ix with their nice bunch of shelves:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (18)

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (19)

Funniest release:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (20)

Sea.man: Wyrd has made this War Pig Rooster especially for Easter, not sure if this is a limited miniature or even will it have its rules for Malifaux, but it is quite funny

Hellspawn: It’s a funny one indeed, not that much to say about it, besides that it’s a pink “bunny” on a skinned chicken ^^.Talking about chicken, those, usually runs heedlessly, but I think that the term “headless” can easily go to this:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (21)

I think that Privateer Press should definitely stop going for sooo huge shoulders because this is plain ridiculous. This guy here looks like more Sleepy Hollow than anything else. They should definitely look to rework on their bases because Privateer Press has a serious problem here.

Bases:

Talking about the bases, let’s get back to the ground, well, if we can talk about ground here cause Dark Age released a bunch of bases on the theme of ice explosion.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (22)

Hellspawn: They do look more like water with waves than ice to me, but hey, they’re not the worst releases this month, cause look at the next section.

Sea.man: Quite ok, but check those bases from Tabletop-art. Not only those look great, but the idea to sell them as a deal is sweet.

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (23)

Worst release:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (24)

Sea.man: some might say that this one is cool, but for me this Lord of Pestilence from Avatars of War is big NO. There are too many things going there, seems overloaded to me.

Hellspawn: What the hell is that? Chtulhu-headed fat dorf? Anyone has a bag because nausea is coming… 😕

Well, I don’t thank you for this choice, Sea.man. It’s something, that I would have gladly pass on, hehe, though if you managed to make me throw up with your “worst release” choice, look at those two from Zenith Miniatures and Reaper:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (25)

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (26)

Don’t you think those are ugly as well?

Best paintjob:

We couldn’t end this compilation with such horrible things, this was just impossible, cause knowing that our readers could have nightmares just thinking about those “things” (cause we can’t even call them minis) was not something we wanted so here are a few of what we think are the most amazing official paintjobs of the month.

First one is from a new company called Infamy Miniatures and I thought that even if the mini isn’t awesome, the paintjob on the bottle is just insane. Look at it:

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (27)

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (28)

The second that catches our attention is from another new company called Origen Art. This mermaid is superb, no wonder seamen usually fell in love with their charms: 😀

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (29)

New releases: Hand-picked miniatures of March and April 2012 (30)

So here is the end of this compilation of some of the releases of this month that catches our attention. This isn’t of course the whole bunch of the releases that arrived this month, only a part of it, but what do you guys think? Was it good? Do you agree with us?

Want more?

On the Chest of Colors forum we have a section called Manufacturers, where forum members and even a few miniatures producers post information about latest releases. Feel free to join and leave feedback. Also, if you know some new company, or even better – you make your own miniatures – don’t hesitate and post information about new miniatures, conversions parts or companies. The more hobbysts see those miniatures, the bigger chance it will find its fans. Somehow we have to spend our hard earned money, don’t we?

— Sea.man & Hellspawn

5th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange announced

Miniature Exchanges became a kind of tradition here at Chest of Colors. The idea behind them is painting miniatures for randomly chosen participants of the exchange, which means: everybody receives a nice surprise.

Now we’re starting our 5th Miniature Exchange and you still have a few days to join!

Photo: 5th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange

The story so far

If you haven’t participated in any of our Miniature Exchanges yet, you might like to read a bit about them, or browse the galleries of miniatures exchanged by the participants of previous 4 editions of Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange. You can find the galleries here:

Here we go again!

Now another exition of our Miniature Exchange is just starting. Thanks to Nameless you can read the rules of the current Miniature Exchange and discuss it in this thread on our miniature painting forum, or if you prefer reading in Polish – here is a Polish version of the thread. These topics are also the right place to ask all your questions regarding this event.

So what are you waiting for? Go check the information and if you meet the requirements – join the fun 🙂

Ańa’s ogre thunderlord showcased by Games Workshop

Probably most of you know that the latest releases from Games Workshop were new Ogre Kingdoms miniatures. Games Workshop showcased some interesting Ogre Kingdoms miniatures on their website, including Golden Demon winning Ogre Thunderlord on Rhinox painted by Ańa.

Of course it was nice to see our painted miniatures showcased on one of the most popular miniature manufacturer’s website. Although almost four years passed since the model was painted, the paintjob still looks decent.

Thinking about it now, it must have been a serious effort and achievement for Ańa to paint that Ogre Thunderlord back then. It was a big model, serious modeling project, and a pretty advanced project for quite an inexperienced miniature painter that she was. Fortunately the effort was awarded with gold in Warhammer Monster category at Golden Demon Poland in 2007.

It was the first appearance of Ana’s works at Games Workshop website that we know of, excluding Golden Demon galleries. Needless to say, it must be cool to see your works showcased by such a big company.

Photo: Ańa's ogre showcased on Games Workshop website
Screenshot from Games Workshop website

Anyway, enough talking! Now feel free to see this miniature once again – we have more and bigger photos than what was shown by Games Workshop. And if you liked this miniature, you might like to see even more miniatures painted by Ańa in her gallery.

And now maybe some of you are interested in reading an article about making of this miniature? Maybe you would like to see it in our collection of tutorials? Just let us know and we can publish it if you want to read it (and see some work in progress pictures).

Forum rebuilt?

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And yes, they’re right! But they can say the same about our miniature painting forum! It took us some time to make it what it is now, and we felt it was time to change some things!

Forum rebuilt?
You don't rebuild a forum in a day

Chest of Colors miniature painting forum

Most of you surely know that one of the features of Chest of Colors is our miniature painting forum. For some of you it’s the central part of the website, and it’s great that they feel this way. The forum is the meeting place for our community of miniature painters, pretty friendly and active. It’s also where quite a few members of our team were spotted, appreciated for their contributions to our community and invited to the group.

The first posts there date back to April 9th, 2005, which is about the time that the Headblast Design forum was abandoned and a new home for its community was needed. During the time a nice community of painters gathered around our forum, thousands of posts were written and many painted miniatures were presented there. Sure, we may be smaller than the biggest miniature painting forums on the internet, but still many people choose our forum and praise that it feels more friendly, more personal and more helpful than most other forums – including the biggest players in the game.

Why change anything?

During all the years much has changed. Some users disappeared, some new ones joined us. Groups of users formed, reformed and ceased to be. Sections of our forums became more or less popular. Manufacturers of miniatures came and went. Game systems saw their glory and decline. And finally: our site underwent some serious changes.

The first serious change happened when we had to separate the forum from the old green website. Many people knew only the forum and were surprised to know there was also a website to accompany it. Both parts of the webiste had different layouts and they felt like totally separate things. This state lasted for a few years until we managed to rearrange and re-launch our website in its new form.

We had some long discussions about the forum and the shape it should have. Some most frequent users of our forum talked about the sections which grew to be more popular than we expected and others which happened to become abandoned and almost dead. We felt that things would better be rearranged for improved usability and for more enjoyable experience of spending time our forum.

We managed to give the same consistent look to the website and the forum again and to integrate them partially. The integration is still not complete because logging in to the forum and to the main website is still done separately, but we may change it one day. We will see if it’s necessary at all. And when it was done, it was time for the changes we discussed!

The pub you visit

Yet before the changes were introduced, some of our members started a nice thread with thanks for the work we do to make Chest of Colors a homely place for us all. It was so very encouraging to see that most people liked the way I felt about the forum:

I always think about our forum as an old pub that you drop into one day.

You know, there are many of them but you stumble into one and see people chatting on topic and off topic, giving each other ironic comments and sharing private jokes. First you may feel strange and not quite fitting there. But then you spend an hour or two. Listen to the guys there and then find the courage to stand up and say “hello, I am new here”, and then you’re a part of it all. Then their jokes are yours, their place is yours, and you feel at home there.

The pub you visit
Think about our forum as an old pub that you drop into one day

That’s what I always wanted this place to feel like for fellow fans of miniatures.

It seems it does. Thanks to the people who spend their time here. The site is not about the computer code, servers, layouts, etc. It’s all about the people. Just like a pub is not just the walls – it’s the people who create the atmosphere.

Are the changes drastic?

No, they aren’t.

What we did was:

  • removing rarely used sections and merging them to more active ones that they would fit in
  • reorganization of some sections (like creation of a complete Rules, FAQs and technical help section on top of the forum) and moving topics and sections to places they belong more than to their previous locations.
  • adding guidelines to showcase and WIP sections
  • adding a new method of posting images to our forum, so they don’t break the website’s layout
  • adding a medals system to award users for their achievements and contributions
  • improving the system of reporting posts and threads to moderators, so users can help us keep the forum clean and in good order
  • rewriting our forum’s rules and answers to frequently asked questions
  • marking Polish forums in a visible way, so people know which part of the site is the international one and which is the Polish one

So it’s more of tidying the place, cleaning it, and trying to put things in better order. We hope you like the new order of things better and that it’s more natural and obvious for our miniature painting friends. We know that our users will need some time to get used to it, but we believe it’s not too much of a problem.

Is this all?

Well, honestly speaking there’s still a bit of work to be done. Some smileys need to be added, some old duplicate threads and posts need to be taken care of, some dead links have to be located and fixed. But we hope that with your help (which is so much easier now) we can do it and our forum will become an even nicer place for us all to hang around.

So if you haven’t done it yet, pay us a visit at the miniature forum, take a look around and see how things are organized now. Do you like the new order of sections? Do you think the whole place is more enjoyable now? Do you feel anything should be improved to make it the kind of forum you want to spend time on?

Share your comments, they’re the best source of insight and inspiration we can get, because we want you – miniature painters – to enjoy the place!

Chest of Colors is back

Hello again!
So we’re back online. The Chest of Colors web site and the forum – for all your miniature painting fans! The whole process took more time than we expected, but to keep the long story short – the transition was not a small thing and had to be done by one person only.

Chest of Colors is back
“I’ll be back!” – I told you….

And now the long story:

Why change anything?

We started talking about possible changes years ago. Probably more than 2-3 years ago. Something was going wrong with the website, and its integration with the forum had to be removed. Since that time some people actually started to believe that the “green website” and “blue forum” are two completely separate entities. Moreover, so little was going on at the main site that it was merely a gallery attached to the forum (well, maybe with the addition of a few tutorials, but very rarely updated).

Aditionally security problems started disturbing our peace, and so we had to disable some features of the website… It was becoming more and more lifeless…

Upgrade is planned

So we started preparing a new version of the website, moved to a different engine, and it was all going well, until real life kicked in and before the trouble was gone a new major version of the engine was released, making almost all of the work already done – useless.

Instead of giving up, after checking all the odds-and-ends, we decided to move on to the new version, adjust to the new conditions and begin the works from the scratch. In the meantime we learned that a little Balrog will be born (no, Balrog is not his real name, and if you still don’t know who I am talking about, you should definitely check the Painting Mum blog. This little boy, still unborn at that time, gave us a huge boost of motivation, because we knew that if we don’t finish the changes before his birth, it will take long before we can have enough time to finish it…

And boy, we were right! Balrog was expected to be born in late June 2010, but he didn’t want to wait that long – although all we needed was like a week or two of work to be able to launch some kind of a website, the birth of this little boy made it totally impossible. We didn’t expect such an active baby, who didn’t leave us even minutes of free time for anything miniature related. So the whole thing had to be put aside for months and it was only when he was a few months old before we could resume our works. But guess what…

We’re getting there…

… Yes, you surely guessed right – the engine was changed so much in the meantime that continuing our works was only as good as starting them from the scratch. But this time our motivation was huge. We chose to make the last technical switch and finally move on with the works at the cost of private lives, hobby time, sleep, and family or social lives. But this allowed us to launch the site on August 1st 2011!

Chest of Colors is back
We’re getting there…

Sure, the site is not perfect and many flaws are still being found and taken care of. But you can visit the Chest of Colors again, and soon we’re going to have cool new articles for you! Not only tutorials but also completely new concepts!

Thank you

    So at this point, speaking on the whole team’s behalf (but surely mostly on mine) let me thank:

  • Ana and Balrog, whose patience and tolerance allowed me to devote my time to the task of upgrading the website
  • the Chest of Colors team and painting studio – for their understanding amd bearing with frequent delays on my end while I was focused on this job
  • our forum users, members of our community – for staying with us for all the time and not leaving despite all the technical shortcomings
  • all the miniature fans who contacted me and had to wait very long for their answers and any other actions on my end
  • you, the readers, who waited so long for the website – first bearing with the old website, and then with the “the Chest is being repainted” announcement.

Thank you all very much!

Where are we now?

Now the website is still missing some features and much content is still to be added. But you know, the team members and authors need to get used to the new site before they contribute some new stuff, and I still need to fix all the glitches and optimize the website for your better experience. In the meantime we have some interesting articles for you to read – and they’re coming very soon! So stay tuned!

We’ll be still tweaking the site, so forgive us if the site behaves in a strange way sometimes. We’ll be adding new features as well, but we’ll keep you informed about it.

And what’s new? Let me give you a short roundup of all the major changes on the site…

Chest of Colors is back
What’s new?

What’s new

The new features include:

  • changed frontpage, so you can now easily see and access new stuff on the website, jump to recommended posts or fundamental must-reads
  • redesigned menu, as most people never used the side menu and chose the horizontal one – you wanted it, you got it!
  • better “About us” section, as the old one was not only outdated but also not very informative
  • tagged posts – for easy access to posts on particular subjects
  • tagged photos – now you can move through galleries by clicking on tags under photos
  • RSS feeds – never miss any interesting news from our website, get them delivered directly to your feed reader
  • better integration with social websites like Facebook or Twitter – now you can share interesting content with your friends easily
  • comments – now you can ask questions or comments to our posts, so you’re not only a reader but also a participant in discussions!
  • medals system on the forum – various achievements will be rewarded with special badges visible in profiles
  • donate button – if you appreciate the work we put into this website and keeping it interesting and want to help us cover the costs of hosting, you may send us a little donation

And what’s yet to come?

  • updates via email – delivered straight to your mailbox
  • newsletter – even more stuff available exclusively for our subscribers
  • integration of logins for the forum and website – you will log in to one of them an be logged on to both
  • new columns (regular or irregular) with some cool contents, now secret 😉
  • links to websites useful for miniature enthusiasts
  • more and more articles, photos, and interesting discussions with the members of our community!

Thanks for your attention!

Now it’s time to finish this post… I kept your attention for long enough already.
Instead of sitting here any longer, why don’t you take a look around, see what’s available and what not. Maybe you have some suggestions? Ideas of stuff you would like to see or read about here? What are your expectations and miniature painting plans for the rest of 2011? And maybe you just want to say “good to see you back”? Leave a comment below and we’re all ears!

Take care,
— Mahoń