May 31, 2015

Batman Miniature Game - Initial Figure Thoughts

I've talked a lot about the Batman Miniatures Game this year and this post isn't going to be a departure from that. What were you expecting? It's right in the title of the post!

The first Knight Models items I worked on were the BMG objective markers. I've be bought another set so that I can provide enough for two players to use, but ended up making two more Riddle tokens due to the changes in the rules. More on that later however.

Sewers/Lampposts 3-pack

This is the Sewer/Lamppost Pack II. I ordered two of Pack I, which only contains two of each. However, adding those to my collection will give me a total of 7 of each marker. That would be enough for the basic D3 per player required to play the game plus an extra of each.

The sewer markers are quite nice in their simplicity. I've decided not to put mine on 30mm bases because I think they look silly that way. If we start doing official tournaments I might be forced to do so.

My opinion on the lampposts in pack II is mixed. I think they're very nice looking but I'm quite concerned about their long term survivability. The base insert is great and fits into a 30mm base with only a touch of filing down to get a smooth. The lower part of the lamppost glues down nicely after a quick file as well.

The spot that causes me concern on these models is the joint for the upper half. The models stand very tall and the contact point is a small amount of surface area. There was a small indent on the lower half which I hollowed out a bit on each one before gluing. A few of them didn't end up very straight, but I think trying to straighten them will ruin the integrity of the super glue holding them together. I'll be exercising a high amount of caution if I ever have to transport them anywhere.

Bane Crew Starter Box

Now that I was finally ready to work on some characters I chose the Bane crew box. I knew I'd be starting my hero team with Arkham City Batman and Robin who clock in at 198 rep. The points for Bane's crew don't quite work out evenly (184 rep) but they're close enough for some games to be played and fun to be had.

I opted to use some cast resin bases I already had rather than the generic ones that were included, so all of the character models I'll be talking about have had their base tabs clipped off before gluing to the bases. The flashing and mould lines was fairly minimal on them, and none of it crossed over major detail areas like faces or insignia.

This incarnation of Bane is much more less hulk-like than others, both in the comics and from the Knight Models range. I like that he's a single-piece model. When clipping off the tab I noted that the feet are a little stubby, and the hands seem a little small as well. His right foot is pinned to the base to provide a little extra stability for the larger figure. After leaving him for a few days I have noticed that I'll need to do another filling pass along the head and under the arms to remove some mould lines I originally missed.

Bane feels a little underwhelming. I think this is partly due to him being a single piece cast, but he doesn't have the depth through the chest from front to back that one would expect from such a large character. I'm also used to some of the hyper-musculature of lines like Pulp City, whereas I feel the KM range is aimed at being a little more realistic in terms of character proportion. I would have liked to see this figure sculpted without the jacket, to showcase some of the venom tubing that's present in the video game.

I was expecting Dallas to be the most nightmarish figure to build from the pack. Each arm is separate and they join together at the rifle and left wrist. Three point joins are always a pain in my opinion, but this one was a pleasant surprise. The left wrist join isn't perfect, but the shoulders both fit very nicely and resulted in a solid figure. He required a tiny bit of green stuff work to shore up the shoulder and wrist joint. Gluing the head in place did prove a little tricky simply because it's quite small and I kept dropping it while trying to wrangle it into place.

This is the only model in the set whose body is in two pieces. I had to do some trimming on the peg at his waist to get it to fit onto the lower half. In retrospect I should have pinned these pieces together. His right arm seemed to fit well when I was gluing it on, but when I looked at it from the back I noticed a spot that would need some patching with green stuff. It was bit of a challenge to simulate the fine lines in his shirt, but likely no one will care after it's painted.

This figure is my favourite of the four. Smash is a very appropriate name with that serrated hammer he's got. I was happy that the hammer's handle came out straight, but after trimming the ends of the arms and some of the upper body away I wasn't able to get both arms to join up nicely. I found it very frustrating and was happy for the volunteered help of a friend to try fixing up Smash's arms.

After trimming away a lot of the arms and body where they join he was glued together and a fair amount of putty was applied. The hammer's head had to be removed and reattached in order to make the weapon look straight.

Batman Crew

One of the things I love about skirmish games is the small model count. With a half-dozen figures plus some tokens I'll have two playable forces that will provide a lot of entertaining games. Bane needs an adversary, and we're talking about the Batman Miniature Game here, so why not start with the dynamic duo?

Robin's character card shows him to be Tim Drake, and this costume is the Arkham City incarnation. I like this costume a lot, as it takes the core of the Robin look over the years but updates it with some more useful items like a hood, some body armour and gauntlets. The hands and staff are a separate piece and took a few attempts to get into the right spot. I don't feel that the join was flush. I reinforced it with a tiny bit of green stuff and hope it'll be alright.

Last up is the Arkham City version of Batman. If I'm not mistaken this is the first figure Knight Models released for the game and it still holds up well. I love the look of this figure and think it captures Batman perfectly.

This model got trimmed and pinned at the waist to ensure a solid fit, as the waist joint had to support not only the upper body but also the cape. A tiny bit of putty work was added under the belt just to smooth out the join and add a bit more strength. I don't really love the join on the left forearm (the only other piece) but it's largely protected by the cape and I'm looking forward to getting on to priming and painting these figures!

Final Thoughts

I'm a bit torn on the Knight Models range for BMG so far. I love how accurate and detailed they are, but am disappointed with some of the small parts and difficulty in assembling them. They're definitely not intended for the novice modeller. I don't consider myself to be one, and yet getting good results constructing them was more time-consuming than I'd like.

Another observation is with characters like Bane who seems a little emaciated through the torso. Looking through images of other figures online, models like Nightwing and the Flash also seem to suffer from a similar problem. I don't own either of those yet however

I'm hopeful that getting these six models painted will make me feel like the modelling angst was worth it because I've got a lot more Knight Models figures to construct and paint. Getting these painted and on the gaming table will be the true measure of their worth for me.


Simon Quinton said...

Great start. I've just finished of a starter penguin crew and can agree with you about the assembly with some being fiddlier than others.

styx said...

I am fighting the urge right now, a bit too poor to get into Batman right now....

Obsidian3D said...

Yeah you aren't kidding there. They look great but a few have tested my patience. Now that I've got some stuff ready to paint however I'm quite excited to get going.

Obsidian3D said...

Only if you go whole hog. If you want to get started on the cheap I'd strongly recommend the Bane crew. With the starter and first booster pack you can play games at 150, 200 and 250 rep with some decent options.