June 25, 2013 John Arcadian 25 responses

My Initial Impression Of The Reaper Bones Payoff

 

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Well, this wasn’t the article I had scheduled for today, but when I got home last night there was a nice big box sitting on my doorstep full of plastic miniature goodness. Many of you are probably in the same situation, enjoying the rewards of backing the Reaper Bones Kickstarter.  Some of you are not. To those who haven’t yet gotten their bones package, or who didn’t get in on it, I thought I’d share my first impressions and give you gratuitous photobombs of the miniatures.

 

My Impressions

Lots Of Minis – Holy #$%^& that’s a lot of miniatures. I got the basic Vampire pack, the Deep Dwellers add-on, The Orcapocalypse add-on, and the Undead Giant and Clockwork Dragon. The miniatures covered my table quite easily. While I had space and set them up in various scenes for my photos, there was a lot of congestion.

Very Detailed – I was impressed by the detail on the miniatures, even the small ones. The molding process was done really well and the miniatures all look great.

Castlevania's Alucard. Variety And Uniqueness – One of the things that made me drop my money on the Bones kickstarter was the variety and uniqueness of the miniatures. There were a great deal of different types of characters and enemies in the basic vampire pack. Nothing here felt very stereotypical either. The orcs in my Orcpocalyse set are all interesting sculpts with lots of personality.

 

Genre – The miniatures skew towards fantasy games, but there are plenty of modern miniatures and futuristic ones. There are steampunk stylings to some of them, but not a great deal of them are steampunky.

IMG_0947Enemies Galore – There are a slew of minis here that can be used for enemies, and I like that. My players will usually provide or find their own PC minis, or finding them myself is pretty easy. Finding enough miniatures for enemies is another matter. D&D’s random packs never produced enough for me to really populate a battlefield with enough of the type of creature I wanted to put in there.

Ghosts and Elementals – There are green spectres and red fire elementals in my group of minis. These are very unique and have a little less definition because of their color. It wouldn’t do to paint these, or at least not to cover them. I can see adding some definition or leaving some of the colored plastic visible for effect.

A group of mages surrounding the fire elemental.

Stability – These were sitting in a box in Mississippi for probably half a day, so the plastic got very hot. Some of the bigger miniatures don’t stay standing as easily (the Owlbear in particular comes to mind), but that problem could be easily resolved by placing those miniatures on bases or adding weight to the bottom.

Gender – My one complaint with the miniatures is one that isn’t really Reaper’s fault, it is more the industry’s fault. Many, not all, of the female miniatures are rather chainmail-bikini-esque. Some have overemphasized breasts in order declare their femininity and distinguish themselves, but some aren’t wearing a lot over those. I don’t particularly like that attitude in gaming and I’ve been very happy to see it take a backburner in the recent years of the hobby. I was a little disappointed to see so many unnecessarily buxom models in the set. Of course a lot of this will be changed when the miniatures get painted, but I would have liked a bit more dignity for the female minis out of the box.

Here is a gallery of images for you to see most of the minis, but before you get caught up in the images, I’d love to know if you’ve got your Reaper set and what your first impressions are?  If you aren’t reveling in a plethora of plastic pretties from Reaper right now, where are you getting your minis fix? Or, are you the sort of gamer who doesn’t really use miniatures? Drop a line in the comments, we’d love to hear all your thoughts on miniatures.

Click on the pictures to see full sized versions.

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John Arcadian is a writer, gamer, art director, web designer, crafter, and kilt-wearer.
You can find more of his writings on gaming over at http://gnomestew.com.
For web-design projects, check out http://beezenwebdesign.com.

Comments
  1. Totally Guy     | Reply

    I’ve got a set on the way. I don’t even know what I’d do with them as my gaming tastes have moved away from miniatures and tactical combat in general.

    This is more like what I’ll actually use them for now: http://www.rafaelchandler.com/agrailepoch.pdf

    I just couldn’t deny the good value and I was in no hurry to have them so I signed up for them. I traded out Sophie for the demons and the pathfinder dragon.

    1. John Arcadian - Post Author     | Reply

      That was a little bit my motivation too. My room-mate clued me into the kickstarter and I already had a ton of miniatures, so I didn’t really need them… but… they were just too good to pass up.

  2. Drabix     | Reply

    My box arrived yesterday. I was greeted by a glowing fire elemental next to the coffee pot this morning. Seems my oldest son inserted a LED into the mini already.

  3. M. Darin Young     | Reply

    My set came in Friday. I’ve gone through the list to make sure everything was there but haven’t pulled minis from individual bags just yet. Will likely do so today then post a few pics on my site as well in the next day or two (if I can mange it). I like the pics you took; the pokebattle made me chuckle. My kids will get a kick out of it.

    So did your eyes start bleeding after going through all the minis? I thought mine were. That’s a bunch of minis. And I only bought one box, not two (or five) like a friend of mine did.

    1. John Arcadian - Post Author     | Reply

      Pop a link back here to your pics. I’d love to see them and other models that were in your set.

      My girlfriend and her room-mate and I sat there opening them all and arranging them. I am very glad it was a group task, because it would have taken me much, much longer to do it on my own.

      1. M. Darin Young     | Reply

        Link is hereon my blog.
        I wound up dumping a bunch of close-ups because my camera just doesn’t do those too well. I may have to swipe the wife’s camera to take pics of a few more and post those later.

  4. Oni Akki     | Reply

    Something to add definition to the transparent ones is using washes instead of regular paint. That way you can get the depth of a transparent model while still being able to see the details.

    Also a lot of the new bones miniatures are ‘recuts’ of Reaper’s old(ish) metal range, much of which existed before the more recent push for making more realistic women for our miniature games, so they’re still going to be a bit skewed to the older designs.

    1. John Arcadian - Post Author     | Reply

      Nice. I’ll think about doing the washes and see what I can do to make them nice. I’m not a mini-painter by any stretch of the imagination, so this gives me a new skill to learn.

      Yeah, it’s understandable that some of the minis are of the chainmail bikini types, and the pathfinder ones are rather buxxom and less clothed in the art as well, I just really like to see more steps towards realistic women that aren’t over-sexualized. A femme-fatale who has a reason to be sexual in her character is one thing, a warrior or front line combat person with large vulnerable spots just feels unnecessary and a bit degrading. It’s the same as when I see them in comics. Does power girl really need a cleavage window? I understand why those images and attitudes are still around, but I still get irked when I see them.

      1. Oni Akki     | Reply

        I haven’t gotten my pledge yet, (though I did get the tracking number sent to me earlier today,) so I haven’t tried putting washes on their clear plastic yet, the opaque stuff is supposedly ready to paint straight on. The transparent ones might need a clear spray first to allow the washes to ‘stick’ well.

        I do feel your pain though, and I’m glad it’s getting easier to find more realistic woman. There will always be some of those classics out there. The 4 color super heroes are their own genre now after all, and power girl just wouldn’t be quite complete without her ‘cleavage window’… Ok, I like that term, I’m going to have to remember to use it in the future in other discussions.

      2. Matt Allen     | Reply

        Check the reapermini forums. There are a couple great articles on how bones are different than metal minis and what that means for painting.

  5. Troy E. Taylor     | Reply

    Something to keep in mind … Some of the female figs you pointed out are sculpt Reaper is contracted to make for Paizo’s Pathfinder line of iconics … So they aren’t Reaper style figs as much as they are another company’s.

  6. Dhomal     | Reply

    I am glad these are turning out as good as it seems, even considering the ‘cleavage window’ issues.

    I backed the project myself, but I can’t paint a miniature to save my life. (Unless you count dunking one in gold paint and calling it a statue – I did that once YEARS ago.) Plus, I don’t have the Time really to be painting them. So, they only got me for a buck. I wanted to support them and hear about it, but yeah, would have been a waste for me to buy ’em all.

  7. danroth     | Reply

    Good review!

    I have to disagree though–it’s totally Reaper’s faulty if they produce over-sexualized females. They’re the ones designing the molds and doing the casting, right? It’s society’s fault for pressuring them in certain directions, but when it comes down to it, Reaper are carrying it out.

    1. danroth     | Reply

      Just to clarify, I’m not saying we need to declare a boycott on Reaper, or call them an evil company or anything–we just need to be honest with ourselves with what is going on.

      1. John Arcadian - Post Author     | Reply

        I understand, I wouldn’t suggest a boycott of Reaper either nor do I lay blame at their feet. I understand the hard position that Reaper is in. I do think it is all of our responsibilities to start changing these attitudes though. the more we say that’s just the way it is, the less chance there is to make it better.

  8. hattymchappy     | Reply

    Oooh, I can’t wait to get home now after I get off work in 40 minutes. My minis should be waiting for me on my doorstep. Thanks for the review!

    1. John Arcadian - Post Author     | Reply

      I figured that they could be fixed pretty easily. Mine was sitting out in the hot Mississippi sun for about half a day before I got them, so I figured that’s where much of the instability comes from. thanks for the link 2 how to get them back into shape!

  9. Marty Walser     | Reply

    I had a lot of the same impressions.

    Sculpt quality: Amazing
    Figure variety: Excellent
    Sexism: Fair

    My add-ons: Fire Giant King/Queen, Forces of Nature, Demons and the Pathfinder red dragon.

    First, let me say the Force of Nature treant-nature-elemental thing is by far the most detailed and awesome sculpts I have seen on a miniature. Slightly smaller than I was expecting from the pics, but still probably one of the best add-on figures (if not the best). My painting skills will only serve to detract from this figure. 🙂

    Fantasy sexism: I was also somewhat disappointed in some of the chain mail bikini-ism abundant in the set. I do hold Reaper to account for much of their own selection (but not for the Pathfinder iconics which are direct copies of the artwork from the core books — so they get a pass on those figs).

    On the other hand, there were a number of the ladies that were wearing perfectly functional armor/outfits. I didn’t do an exact count, but it was about 1/3 ridiculous cleavage to 1/3 marginally acceptable cleavage to 1/3 perfectly acceptable non-cleavage adventuring outfits. WotC does a much better job with their female sculpts from a sexist clothing perspective.

    The cloud giant figure that stirred a lot of controversy on the Kickstarter forum was not bad “in person” as it appeared in the concept art. She’s still somewhat scantily clad, but her pose is not as “come hither” Playboy centerfold as it seemed in the artwork.

    On the male side, there were only like 3 figures with unprotected bare abs — a much smaller ratio.

    One of the best female figures was the fighter/paladin in full plate which had a realistic breast plate (not boob-plate). This figure is also highlighted in their included paint advert.

    Last note, there is something that most figure lines (not just Reaper) have an issue with: too many swords. I want to see more axes, maces, flails, warhammers, spears, etc. on PCs. 98% of PC figs have swords and I’d like to see more (non-cleric) figs with other weapons.

  10. drow     | Reply

    bwahahaha… i just got the vampire box, so i’ve had mine for a while. still trying to find time to paint them all, and discovered that i have to replace a bunch of paint too.

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John Arcadian