Sunday, 8 January 2017

Tor Gaming - C'thu Prime

Sometimes it's funny how things work out. I went down to my local gaming store's hobby evening on Friday, both to get some painting done, and to pick up some bits I'd ordered over the festive period. As it happened, Gav1 was the gentleman sorting out my order, and he noticed that I had a pre-order for the new C'thu Prime as one of the bits I was waiting for.

Apparently in a good mood in the new year2, he decided to let me have the Prime there and then, despite the fact the model wasn't due to be released until the 14th. Never one to turn down the opportunity to get stuff I'd bought early, I thought I'd take the time before general release to pull a review together.

For those of you who aren't aware, Tor Gaming produce the stitch-punk game called Relics. The first edition of the game has been around for a few years now, and Gav is currently working on finalising the second edition, with a release planned for later in 2017. The C'thu are a brand-new faction for the new edition, with the first releases hitting the market in November 2016.

As you may have guessed from the faction name, the C'thu have a definite Lovecraftian direction to their design, though without just lifting designs or descriptions from other mediums - there are plenty of tentacles and teeth, but no Shoggoths as of yet, for example.

The Prime itself is a command figure for the army, able to focus the Horror they generate to manipulate enemy units, as well as manipulating enemy forces into attacking their allies as they begin to lose their minds.

As I haven't played Relics yet myself, I'm less worried about the abilities it brings to an army, and more taken with the sculpt itself. There has been something about the design of the C'thu models I've seen thus far which appeals to me - which is a little odd, as I'm not normally one for the gribbly factions. They also stand in stark contrast to the Britanan figures I already own - tentacled horrors compared to a sack-boy British army.

Packaging


As with most Relics figures, the Prime comes in a blister pack. All the resin parts are in a small bag, and join a 50mm lipped base and laser-etched wooden "Horror" token3 in the blister. The blister itself is quite sturdy, and should stand up to the demands of the postal service easily enough.

There was space for parts to rattle around, and with no foam padding in there, I'd normally be concerned about the potential for the rattling to cause damage to the parts. After inspecting the components, however, there aren't any thin, delicate parts which would be at risk.

Components



The Prime is split down into five pieces - an upper torso, a lower torso, and three identical tentacled lower extremities. The casts have held the detail really well, and while there is some flash, it is mostly the paper-thin sort that you can remove with a sharp hobby knife.

The lower torso and tentacles also had casting posts attached to them - a standard part of the process. These are about 2mm in diameter, so were easily removed with a decent set of clippers.

The ones on the tentacles were well-positioned, being on the side of the component you'll be sticking to the base, but the one on the lower torso is in a slightly more awkward position - as you can see, it blocks one of the sockets for a tentacle, though careful inspection showed that it didn't fill the socket as well - carefully removing it with clippers did the trick.

Construction


The Prime is a pretty straightforward kit to assemble, with no difficult joins to worry about. There are two things to be careful with, though. Firstly, make sure the tentacles coil inwards before tailing out to the edge of the base - it should be tricky to get that wrong, given the angle of the joins, but I've seen people make mistakes before.

Secondly, consider which way the upper torso points before gluing it in place. As we're dealing with a square peg in a square hole4, there are technically four ways this could go. The original render gave the most natural feel, though there isn't anything stopping you using one of the other three orientations if you wanted to.

You do need to have done a good job with the clean-up of the casting posts on all parts of the model - my work on the tentacles was a little uneven, so my Prime doesn't sit quite flat on the base - though this will be disguised when I base it. Equally, if the lower torso one isn't flush, this can leave a gap between torso and tentacle, so it is worth spending a little time on it.

Final Thoughts


With thanks to Trollkin Heston and Scale Dwarf for volunteering to be near this horror...
This was the first all-resin model I'd picked up from Tor Gaming, and I'm impressed with it. Crisp details, a reasonable price and a cool theme make it a figure I'm glad I bought, and one I'm looking forwards to painting - once I get another project off my desk first.

Even if you're not planning on playing Relics - and with the rules available as a free download, you may as well try the game out - I can see the Prime, as well as other C'thu models being of use to people looking to play Call of Cthulhu or other similar games down the line. With a bit of work, I'm sure you could come up with stats for them in Pathfinder, too. Either way, I'd recommend getting hold of the Prime if you like miniatures that fit with this sort of theme.

The Impertinent Details


Code
Title
RRP
TG-RELC7C'thu Prime£18.00


1 - Gavin Moorcroft, the mind behind Tor Gaming and Relics
2 - I blame the Happy Meal he'd had for tea...
3 - Out of curiosity, what's the equivalent of a "misprint" when it comes to this sort of thing? A mis-etch? The Horror token looked to have been slightly mis-aligned when etched, so part of the word "Horror" is missing off the edge of the token. I've spoken to Gav, and I'll be swapping it for a replacement token the next time I see him.
4 - Always better than a square peg in a round hole...