Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Relic Knights Assembly - Two Down

The Relic Knights assembly festival continues. Pictures of more assembled models and thoughts about the line so far after the break.

Over the weekend I managed to finish putting together the Doctrine models (for the record: I'm staying away from duplicate units right now.) Here's what the rest of the models look like:

Non-Battle Box Doctrine Models
Looking at the models all together, there is definitely a scale issue across the Doctrine line. It seems to mostly affect the "old" models that were converted to the new plastics - the Prefects, Hasami, Togan & Cecilia, and sort of Fiametta.

I say sort of for Fiametta because she's the closest to being in scale (which I think was helped a lot by her being essentially re-sculpted for the plastic model.) She seems a little big, but that could also be her pose. Her model is overall excellent. Nice details, interesting pose, cool concept, fits her rules. I almost never love the "fireball toss" pose, but this one works out pretty well.

The rest, however, are all over the place. The Prefects are indeed fun sized - compare Veronica to Tycho - which is a damn shame because the models otherwise look fine. I've read in at least one place that the metal models are a little off scale as well, so maybe the plastic transition just exacerbated that issue.

Prefect Valerie had a bizarre issue: her right foot (the one that joins to the base) was backwards. This is perplexing because she's all one piece; it's not like I glued her together wrong. Point of fact, I had to hack her foot off at the ankle and reattach it so a one piece model had some assembly required. I think that speaks to there being some fundamental molding issue with the Prefects, which is a damn shame.

Addendum: SPM_Deke (one of the core Soda Pop Miniatures guys) said that the Prefect Valerie foot issue has been corrected, and non-mutant models will be sent to all backers who chose Doctrine. That's good news for the backers, and even better news for anyone considering buying the models when Relic Knights launches.

Link for reference: http://community.sodapopminiatures.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2828&p=37224#p37208


Hasami and Togan & Cecilia seem to have fared better. They look a little off, but not as much as the Prefects, and I think because they're "solo" versus the set of three Prefects it doesn't stand out as much to me.

Also, although it doesn't affect the model's physical quality at all, Togan & Cecilia are really disappointing as a sculpt concept. I totally get the inspiration - lecherous old man and hot assistant, a decently common anime trope - but I think there are plenty of ways to communicate that without it being kind of tasteless. The way the models are supposed to fit together, Togan is pinching Cecilia's ass and making her drop the books. The hand lines up perfectly and everything.

I tried to reposition them to cut down on the ick factor. It looks odd - my best explanation for my set up would be that he's casting some kind of spell, which causes her to drop the books, and he's just being a total creeper about it - but it's at least more tolerable than the intended pose.

The Academy Guard were a big surprise for me. I bought them because I have a disease and had to buy everything, but I wasn't really sold on the idea (basically mecha-Dementors.) In person though, they won me over. The models look cool, go together remarkably well (considering how much of a pain in the ass the "holding a spear" pose can be,) and add a much needed "beef" factor to the Doctrine model line. Now I'm a big fan of the models.

One note about the Academy Guard: they are the only models in the line that I've encountered which use a slot to fit into the base. It makes perfect sense - their floating pose would be hard to anchor otherwise - and you can opt to not attach the slot if you had a different basing/attachment idea in mind, but there is a complication. None of the Relic Knights bases come pre-slotted, and the plastic they make their bases out of seems to be built to last. I gave up trying to carve out a slot in one after about 10 minutes of trying (and almost losing a finger in the process.) As you can probably tell, the Academy Guard ended up with some unused Wyrd/PP slotted 40mm bases I had sitting around, and I'd highly recommend a similar approach to anyone assembling those models.

Darkspace Zineda and Wildspace Tycho are both excellent models. Not a lot to say there; they're well designed, have great detail, and went together very smoothly. Which brings up a feeling I have with Relic Knights: for the most part, all of the best models are new sculpts. Some of the older models translated well to plastic, especially the Relic Knights (which makes sense given their larger size.) But the most remarkable models for me have been the new sculpts. I think that's a good and bad thing: it gives me a lot of faith in Relic Knights' models moving forward, but it's also a shame that the old sculpts now end up looking like some of the worst (especially since that's what attracted a lot of backers in the first place.)

Finally, there's Kisa and Scratch, the Relic Knight for Doctrine. This is probably the model that impressed me the most out of the line, because I never liked it in any of the pictures I saw of it. Having actually put it together though I have to say that it's pretty slick. Very nice details, the pose doesn't look as dumb as I thought it did, and Kisa even looks alright (for a super cheesecake-y catgirl sorceress.) Scratch is adorable, as always.

Overall, despite some hiccups, I like the Doctrine line. The constructs they have are pretty impressively beefy (Librarian, Academy Guards,) the models that are in-scale look good, and even the models that are out of scale are at least detailed enough to be interesting. I think this is a case where the highs overcome the lows for me, and I'm glad I kept at assembling the line; the Prefects were disappointing enough that I almost stopped putting Doctrine stuff together.

Next up in the assembly line are the Star Nebula Corsairs, of which I've managed to assemble the Battle Box:
Star Nebula Corsairs Battle Box Models

Out of the line so far, I think the Star Nebula Corsairs have some of the most consistently clean and detailed models. The biggest issue they have is that the posing some of their models so far is...not great. Out of the Corsairs you get 2 duplicate poses which is pretty disappointing across a 5 model unit. Doubly so after putting together the Paladins and the Doctrine, neither of which had duplicates in their units. Triply so because those two models have goofy poses.

And then there's Harker, the best worst model I've seen in awhile. His pose is pretty bad, mostly due to him being flat as a pancake. He's all one piece and you can tell the sculptor was desperately trying to make him look as cool as possible within that confine, but there's only so much you can do within that restriction. The core pose idea isn't even that bad; if he had more 3D to him (i.e. he was more stepping forward with his arms more in motion,) it would look much better.

All that said, for a one piece, flat model, Harker looks pretty damn good. The level of detail is solid and his cape helps to add some element of movement/dynamism to the model. Usually flat models combine a crappy pose with a general lack of detail, but in Harker's case the pose is the biggest issue.

The Broadside cannon is a cool piece. It was pretty fun to put together, and the damn thing is huge. I did end up with an extra part after putting it together which is a bit worrisome. But I didn't have any obvious places to put it, so I'm just going to roll with it. If I ever put the second one together hopefully I'll figure out where that part goes.

Overall, I think the Star Nebula Corsairs have a pretty good Battle Box. The models contained in it look good, even if there are some posing issues, and based on some reports Corsairs are some of the best infantry in the game for their cost which is great. This faction hopefully won't take me too long to put together - no more units, just solos and Knights - and whenever that's done I'll post up a picture of the remaining models. Then it'll just be one faction to go (Noh, my second favorite one visually) and I'll have this horde of Relic Knights stuff finally assembled!

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