Thursday, 9 February 2017

Unboxing: Bad Squiddo Games - Ghosts of Gaia

Sometimes, following people on Facebook can be an expensive proposition.

As it happens, I follow Kev White of Hasslefree Miniatures fame. Back in November, he plugged a Kickstarter that was being run by Bad Squiddo Games. For those of you who aren't aware, Bad Squiddo Games is the miniatures company being run by Annie Norman, who you may know better as the Dice Bag Lady.

Bad Squiddo were running a campaign for female post-apocalyptic gang figures - a bit Mad Max, a bit Necromunda Escher, that sort of feel. I'll be honest, there weren't many of the initial sculpts that grabbed me, and I forgot to close the tab on Chrome.

Fast-forwards a week or two, and I realised I still have a Kickstarter tab open1. Before I closed it, I thought it'd be interesting to see where the campaign was up to - and that's when I saw the two packs of gun pigs, and the option to order them as the core of your pledge. For those of you who are unaware, the gun pigs are two sets of four figures, featuring guinea pigs armed with some quite serious weaponry.

While I have no specific uses for heavily-armed rodents, the models were cool, and I'm all in favour of cool models. As a result, I found myself backing the campaign, when I didn't initially expect to. Fast forward to the first week of February, and my new pets were collected from the sorting office - and I thought you'd be interested to see how these look.

One package of pigs
Of course, when you've spent your heard-earned dough - of any denomination - you want to know that what you've ordered is going to arrive in one piece. I've had mixed luck with that this year, but given the majority of my order was metal, I was fairly confident that I'd be OK.

As it turned out, Bad Squiddo did a bang up job on the packaging, making use of the age-old combination of foam peanuts and bubble wrap to ensure that my latest acquisitions were in as good a condition as possible.

I'm quite taken with the sticker on the packaging - having mentioned in my look at the Macrocosm Dark Dwarves that I had no way of telling it was a package from them, the sticker was quite an obvious way of spotting a Bad Squiddo order.

And, as you can see below, that image was replicated on a badge within the parcel. I'm going to have to find somewhere to make use of that badge.

Unpack all the things!
So, what was in the package, beyond the badge? Well, going left to right, we have Gun Pigs B, Lance the Capybara, Gun Pigs A, and Eve the Sniper. Lance is in resin, the rest are in metal.

One thing that came as a surprise was that none of the miniatures came with bases. The metal figures all come with integral bases, as opposed to the tabs you'd expect for slottabases, so you could certainly get away without bases on some of the figures. However, I do think you'll need bases on the sniper and some of the heavy weapon gun pigs to stop them falling over if knocked. While I've got a box of spare bases kicking around, it is something to be aware of if you haven't.

Above you can see the Gun Pigs in the bare metal, straight out of the packaging. There are a few bits of flash which need cleaning up, but otherwise they seem quite clean casts - no mould slippage, and I've not noticed any significant mould lines on the figures.

For those of you who may be considering the top pack - which is pack A, for the record - the second heavy weapon is a two-part models. I wasn't initially sure which of the two pigs who aren't on their hind legs is meant to be wielding it, but looking at the picture on the Kickstarter, I'd say it was the pig who ended up next to the weapon in this picture - the weapon looks to be firing on a fairly level trajectory, and the back of the other pig would angle it up too much.

Lance, Wielder of the Capycannon
Lance the Walking Artillery Piece has also come out really nicely. Detail is crisp, and the only things needing cleanup will be the pegs on his feet. He'll need a bath, of course, but that's true of most resin models. The armour plates feature a nice array of battle damage, which I didn't really notice on the green.

My only concern, at present, is the small peg at the bottom of the cannon itself. Given the size of the weapon, I'm not convinced that isn't going to shear off at some point, so I'll probably be removing it and replacing it with a pin.

The two side pods need a quick mention - Lance's body features a couple of small divots where these are meant to be seated, which I initially took to be air bubbles. There are actually very small nubs on the bottom of the pods, which sit in these divots and allow a clean join. Hopefully you won't fill them in before you read this...

Last up on the list we have Eve, the only Ghost of Gaia I picked up in my order2. She's in a fairly classical "standing sniper" pose, though with her rifle resting on her forearm rather than being held in the leading hand - a nice little detail, given that most snipers in this pose hold the fore-grip. I'm not sure which is correct, having not tried my hand at using a rifle, but it does look cool.

Another nice touch is the ghillie suit cloak that Eve is wearing - not a texture you see on sci-fi or post-apocalyptic miniatures, in my experience. Given the branch she is resting her front foot on, this should give a good option for using a mix of greens and browns to build up a bit of a camouflage effects on the cloak.

Eve was another clean cast, with no mould lines and very little flash to clean up. The detail has come out nicely, and I'm looking forwards to trying out one of the Citadel Gem Effect paints on her visor.

Final Thoughts

I'd not had any dealings with Bad Squiddo Games or the Dice Bag Lady before this Kickstarter. That being said, I've been impressed with this outing - the communication from Annie was sound, the pricing seemed about right, and I'm really satisfied with the quality of the end results. Should Bad Squiddo run another Kickstarter campaign down the line, I'll certainly be interested - and I don;t think I can say fairer than that.

1 - Feel free to judge me for my Chrome housekeeping habits, or lack thereof.
2 - And she has made it very clear that if I'm not complimentary about her, there's a head shot in my future...