Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mantic Miniatures

I made my first two Mantic orders in the past fortnight. Here's my thoughts on Abyssal Dwarves and Mantic in general.

 I bought my gear from Games Empire and Mighty Ape . They're both Australian retailers, offering quick turnaround and prices that beat European prices. Both were able to ship the next day. 
Mega Army!
The tools were mine; not included in the box!
My first purchase was one of the old Mega Armies. Mantic seem to be updating their ranges at the moment, so a lot of boxes are no longer in production (although the contents are available in other forms). This box contained a unit of each of the Abyssal Dwarf infantries (20 Decimators (blunderbuss), 20 Black Souls and 10 Immortals), a pair of war machines, a character and a small unit of the elite berserkers. The very first thing I noticed was that the Decimators are actually a conversion kit for the regular Dwarf ranged troops. This took a bit of working out, and because the parts didn't all come from the one sprue, it took a bit of minor detective work to figure out which parts were which.
The DVD box of Decimators
My second purchase was a further box of Decimators and a Starter Army, which contained more Immortals, some Gargoyles, Stone Golems, and a troop of Slave Orcs. Having inspected these Immortals, I realised that I had no idea which models from the Mega Army were Black Souls and which were Immortals.
I sent an email to Mantic, and received a reply within about 5 minutes. It was explained that the two kits had a lot of crossover, but that the Immortals had more intricate armour. I'm still not sure if I know the difference, but there is no more Black Soul kit any more. It was suggested I paint them distinctly, and perhaps reserve certain parts for the Black Souls. Mantic also offered to send me some freebies, presumably so I could tell what the Immortals should look like. Hey, fine by me!

Decimators Assemble!
My thoughts on the standard of miniatures: these aren't as good as Games Workshop. I am probably just be biased after years of looking at their dwarves, but I don't like these as much. Objectively, I think that Mantic models won't be as easy to covert; they don't have the same redundancy that Games Workshop have. Mantic models tend to have fewer details in places one wouldn't expect to see on a miniature (like behind a shield). This is fine if you intend to use the model as is, but makes conversions trickier. On the other hand, Mantic models are much cheaper. For the cost of these three boxed sets, I have pretty much a whole army. With Games Workshop I may have had two or three units. Perhaps Mantic are a little behind on quality, but their models represent considerably greater value than Games Workshop, whose models are simply not worth the premium paid.

The bases I'm not fond of
One thing I'm not a huge fan of is the Mantic basing system. Every plastic infantry model has a plastic disk molded to its feet, to slot into a stand. For people who want to do multi-basing (that is, whole units rather than individual basing) have to cut them off, which is a pain. I think not having these tabs would encourage people to multi-base, which looks cool.

I'm pretty happy with my haul, and look forward to getting them painted up. Watch this space. Still awaiting the 2nd Edition Kings of War rulebook, due out in a week or two.

Nerd baggies
Pile of Decimators

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