Titanforge miniatures recently came out with some of their new Metalbeards mini’s, heavily mechanised Dwarf miniatures, which, as a fan of steampunk AND all things Dwarf, I simply had to have. So I bought two Ancestral Guardians (one set), a Steam Gatling Gun and two Ancestral Zeppelins (again, one set). What follows is my review.
First of, the Ancestral Guardians.
On opening the blister, one of the first things I noticed was the abundance of flash. The details look nice but the various bits and pieces do require some work. The shoulders have a big lump on the inside that I only removed partially and even then it was a lot of work. Since the model is cast in resin, regular ol’ plastic glue is not going to cut it, even standard superglue had a hard time holding this together. Pinning is what’s really needed.
The bases that come with them looked a bit warped but I wasn’t going to use them anyway way so I didn’t care that much.
Other then that, the models look very nice and detailed, there aren’t many airholes (although one nasty one in the haft of the hammer did cause it too break of. Pinning and lots of superglue only managed to make it look half decent.
The finished product on a 40mm base:
Overall, I would rate this one at a 8/10.
Second, the Steam Gatling Gun
This is where things get a bit worse. In the picure the gatling gun looks pretty epic and to be fair, it looks very nice in RL as well. But things aren’t as peachy as they were for the guardians.
First off, as with the guardians there is a lot of flash. Some problems with mouldlines and how both parts of the mould lined up make for mismatched details. Some pieces are actually worse: for example, the back of the steam gatling guns both look as if things have broken off. In fact, this is where these pieces were broken off of the sprue. Not too big a disaster but it looks sloppy.
But now it gets even worse. There is a piece missing. The gunner which is meant to be sitting behind both barrels is just not part of the kit. So, as it stands, I can not finish the model.
Overall, a 5/10. Simply because of the piece that’s missing. Nothing worse than an incomplete model.
Lastly, the Ancestral Zeppelins.
I’ll just show you guys the picture.
Now, did you see what was missing?
I’ll give you a hint, everything else is shown at least twice.
Yes, exactly, the big long rod with the wings and the rotor tips on it.
Not only are these pieces cast in two different colours of resin (not sure if they’re actually a different kind of resin or just differently coloured) but they seem to have again, missed a piece. I can only speculate that, this time, it’s due to the confusion caused by using two different colours of resin.
Other things to mention are once again, lots of flash on the bigger pieces although the smaller ones are pretty ok. The balloons will be a b*itch to assemble though. Slight warping and flash make it really hard to align the pieces. Plus, since I’m missing pieces I can only build one functional balloon (although I could model the extra wings and rotor blades easily enough with some greenstuff).
Now, what I could do is use one of the gunner seats, the one from the incomplete balloon and finish up my steam gatling gun. But that would feel like a serious waste: the balloons will look kick Test once they’re finished even though they’ll need some work.
Overall, a 6/10.
To be fair, these models look pretty good. Loads of details, new models to fill well known roles (Zeppelins as gyro’s, steam gatling gun as an organ gun, the guardians as either unit fillers or as ogres), lots of stuff in fact to have fun with.
The big downside however are the missing pieces. If this were to happen with a GW product, you’d either demand your money back or a replacement. However, when I mailed Titanforge to inquire about my order (ordered the 6th of January, it arrived yesterday the 26th), just to be safe, I didn’t receive an answer. A week later my order arrived. It’s a shame that the company hasn’t replied (yet?), since I’m not that confident that If I were to ask for a replacement for the missing piece that I would get it, or even receive a reply.
All in all, I can salvage these things, either by scratchbuilding/kitbashing something. It’s just, if this where Games Workshop, or Grungni forbid, Forgeworld, everyone would be up in arms.
If my order had arrived with all the pieces I’d probably rate the Zeppelins at a 8/10 and the steam gun at a 7/10 as well.
That’s my two cents!