Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Carthaginian News...

Having 99% finished my Burgundian Ordonnance (just a bit of basing and flags to go) I got my Carthaginians out of the cupboard last night to begin planning the painting process.

Let me just say once again what absolutely lovely scuplts the Corvus Belli miniatures are. There is a certain amount of flash on some of them (mainly in areas where arms cross over the body and create a small "void") but in every other way these are some of the nicest miniatures I have ever purchased. The metal quality is quite good for one thing with a reasonable tin content so the mintaures are strong but not brittle.

The miniatures are well proportioned, nicely animated and the detail in particular is both considerable and clear. That's a pretty general statement so I'll be a bit more descriptiive...

Detail
The detail level may well in part be due to the moulds being relatively "young" and still producing good casts but that isn't the only reason by far. Some ranges replace "crisp" sculpting with "thick" sculpting to produce detail. By that I mean chunky, obvious details to enhance visibility as opposed to clearly defined detail with sharp edges.

The Corvus Belli sculpts are most certainly of the latter variety. The straps, belts, weapons and other thinner items all stand out quite clearly without the miniature looking like he's being crushed slowly to death by a large python. These will paint up well with a minimum of overpainting and inking will help even more.

Animation / Pose
The animation level of the miniatures is excellent. Horse manes flowing, weapons raised or swinging and faces set hard for battle all contribute to making the miniatures look more alive than most. All the various body parts bend at natural angles too which is one of my pet peeves with other ranges. Nobody wants to see their warriors doing backflips or performing in a manner normally reserved for a contortionist.

There is also plenty of variation in poses which you don't often get. I'm not just talking about head or weapon swaps, these are individually different sculpts for each product code, typically up to four or five variants.

Proportion
These are a "proper" 15mm fig and will fit well with other manufacturers like Old Glory or Essex if you want although I suspect they might make the other miniatures look a bit ordinary.

The infantry and the riders are all very well proportioned. In general the miniatures are of a more or less consistent size and neither fat nor thin. Weapons, shields, etc are all correct relative to the wearer as well. This is in part due to the crisp detail I referred to above.

The horses seem a wee bit small - more like ponies. It could just be that they should be smaller considering the period but I'm not sure. Certainly they shouldn't be as big as later breeds used for carrying a fully armoured knight.

So in short...
I don't want to sound like I'm on the payroll but these figs rock. I'm having a hard time convincing myself I don't need the Celts to help my Carthaginians out every once in a while.

I'm going to start with the Numidians just because they are simpler. Then I can work up to the more complicated and detailed troops. They deserve the best paint job and I want to work my way up to the really sweet stuff ;-) I've cleaned and assembled my first BG - Numidian Javelinmen - and they are ready for painting.

Next update - painting progress on the Numidian Javelinmen...

Cheers,
Millsy

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