Hello dear readers and welcome to a new irregular series for Realm of Chaos 80s. And by irregular, I mean irregular, just like all my other irregular series! With Leadspotting, I hope to be able to share with my readership some of the lesser known ranges and 'what nots' kicking about the world of fantasy wargaming. These ranges will be those that I feel best represent that 'Oldhammer feel', or to put things a little more bluntly, similar to the glory years of Citadel's output back in the day. Our first stop then is to Dragon Bait Miniatures largely thanks to Kev 'The Golblin-Master' who emailed details of this project to me yesterday.
In a nutshell. its an American project (from Middleborough, Massachusetts none the less) to produce those most popular of miniature sets: the fantasy adventurer. Its being funded through Indiegogo and set up in US dollars. Joe Corsaro is the producer behind the project while concept duties are down to Mike Burns, and as you may have guessed, the greenstuff sculpting is down to Kev Adams!
What strikes me about the ethos of this project is that at its heart it is very similar to the ideals of Oldhammer.
Joe Corsaro writes 'if you are tired of having to make do with poorly conceived, mass-produced figures that are dull and soulless - do not despair . . . A unique band of adventurers, well-armed and equipped, full of character and attitude have arrived! Join me on my quest to bring some of the finest old-school inspired fantasy miniatures back to the gaming table!'
Initially there will be four sets. These have been organised using the concept drawings as depicted below.
Excuse me while I cut and paste the text from the webpage but all the relevant information can be found here and it will save me re-writing what Joe has said.
"The first four sets of the Fantasy Adventurer range are being offered as perks during this Indiegogo campaign - each set contains three 28mm miniatures made from a lead-free pewter alloy. These figures have already been commissioned and are in the process of being sculpted. I need your help to cover production costs and take the sting out of the mould-making and casting process. Your contributions will also make it possible to commission more miniatures and expand the range even further.
There is a selection of reasonably priced perks to suit all budgets ranging from $12 for a lone hero to $155 for an adventurers guild. There are also two stretch goal rewards on offer – the Half-Orc Druid’s adventure companion and the ever essential Hobbit Butler. Postage within the US and Canada is free! Outside the US and Canada please see your perk level for the appropriate amount of postage to be added.
When can you expect to receive your miniatures? There are no convoluted riddles to be answered here! Your miniatures will be sent out within a week of the campaign’s end – I have already got a head start on the production and expect no delays. The miniatures will be sent by packet and individually sealed in a zip locked bag."
Well, lets move on to the concepts and greens shall we? What struck me as I first scrolled through the text on the webpage was the attention to detail in the concept drawings. Everything seems to have been very carefully considered by Mike Burns and is in keeping with the character of each model. Just have a look at the Half-orc's pack and you'll see my point.
The snake poking its head out the bag is a nice touch is it not? Many of the other designs contain humorous little asides that are linked closely with each character's background and this can be illustrated with the concepts for the Gnome and the Cleric.
Personally, I love the idea of the bomb resembling a bandito and poking its eyes out over the top of a bandana. As comic faces are Kev's trademark I can imagine that these will be very finely executed indeed. Food is obviously and big issue to the cleric, as a baguette and a string of sausages trail from the canvas of the knapsack. Its nice little details like these that really attract me towards miniatures and I find that little discoveries like this make the painting of them more rewarding. I can already imagine the interesting range of colours and tones you would have to use to bring this part of the model to life.
Moving on the greens, Kev has sent a progress shot of his work out to Dragon Bait quite recently. As you will expect, the sculpting is incredible yet each figure has their own sense of personality. Fans of single pose models will also be pleased to note that these appear to be single cast pieces at the moment. Now, no amount of words can ever hope to adequately describe a model so we will rely on the photographs available at this time. Have a look.
Got a favourite? Mine would have to be the female magic user (to use D&D terminology) as I love the pose and position of her body. The flowing robes also remind me of many of the robed models from Citadel's 80s lines, especially the villagers and chaos sorcerers!
Now on to the price, always the BIG ISSUE with any crowdfunder. Now, its good news if you are a citizen of the USA or Canada as postage is totally free. $12 will get you a single figure, $20 three models, $35 six miniatures and so on. In my view, this is very good value, especially when you consider the disclaimer that explains that the models will be shipped even if the project doesn't reach its goal of $3000. If you live in Europe (or indeed the rest of the world) the postage rates start causing a few problems and the good value disappears. Here in the UK the single model option would cost me just under £10. Far to expensive for me anyway. The second option seems the most reasonable for us (The Three Amigos) and allows you to choose any three sculpts and ensures that they will reach your door for just over £15. That's about £4 per figure with a bit of postage stuck on the top too! According to today's exchange rate, it would cost £15.57 to purchase three of Kev's models and get them to your door. Personally, I may well take this option (though I shall wait to see the greens) as I am very interested in the previously described female magic user, as well as the Elf Bard and the Cleric. £15 pounds seems very reasonable to me for three of Kev's finest shipped from the USA, especially considering that his warmonger orcs were selling for £7 each at Salute on the trade stands.
Anyway, if you're interested in seeing more then just follow this link to the indiegogo page at Dragon Bait Miniatures. And, as always, I would be interested in hearing your views about these models too.