Sunday, 2 April 2017

Oathsworn Miniatures: Burrows & Badgers - Figures

It is often surprising the new ranges and companies you find at shows - even if they've been around for a while, they can still be new to you. I'd vaguely heard of Oathsworn Miniatures before I attended UK Games Expo in 2016, due to their Heroines in Sensible Shoes Kickstarter campaign, though it hadn't grabbed my attention enough to back it myself.

While I was at the Expo, though, I came across a cabinet of painted figures on their stand, and realised by the end of the weekend that I needed to own some of them. These weren't the Heroines, but rather the Burrows and Badgers range. For someone who grew up reading the Redwall series, these were a firm kick in the nostalgia.

Burrows and Badgers figures at UK Games Expo 2016

I did eventually cave, and picked up a small selection of the models. Given there are roleplaying games such as Mouse Guard around that these are perfect for - as well as their own game - I thought a review might be in order.

Packaging

Photo-evidence of purchase
The figures I picked up at the show were nicely packaged in blisters, with foam keeping the model seperate from the base. As I bought these as a show, I'm not sure if this is the packaging they sue for mail orders as well as show purchases. Each figure also came with an appropriate lipped round base. Interestingly, as each figure I've seen from Oathsworn has an integral base at their feet, rather than a tab, it seems odd for them to be supplying a slotted base with the models - having said that, I'm not sure how tricky it is to get hold of these lipped bases without a slot at the 30mm and 40mm size.

Cast quality

I'm going to focus on Hermann's Tortoise for the rest of the review. I have looked the other figures over, and cleaned up and based them at the same time, but not gotten any further than that with them yet.

My initial impression of the Tortoise was that it was a pretty nice cast. There were a couple of small bits of flash, but only one of those was on the model itself. Even that one was on the underside of the cloak, so was easy enough to clean up. Other than the little bit of flash, there's nothing to complain about with this guy - no noticeable mould lines, crisp detail (including whorls on the shell on his back, and even a straight sword - not something you can always guarantee with a metal figure.

Hermann's miscast shoulder
However, when I came to start painting the Tortoise, I noticed a problem on the shoulder of the shield side of the figure. The cloak, which was meant to sweep cleanly around above the shield and down behind it, seemed to be missing a chunk above the shield, leaving quite a rough finish - I'm still not entirely sure how I missed it on my first pass.

Having said that, I can't fault Oathsworn's service - I emailed them on a Sunday with a picture of the problem, asking if they could provide an image of the sculpt from a similar angle, and I'd Green Stuff my way out of the problem1. Instead, Jo apologised for missing the miscast, and promised to send a replacement out during the next week, which was with me by the Wednesday. Can't say fairer than that.

Scale

A Dwarf, a Tortoise and a Troll walk into a bar...
The above picture shows Hermann's Tortoise relative to a Games Workshop Dwarf Lord, and a Privateer Press Trollblood Runebearer. The integral base on the Tortoise means the scale looks a little off, but I'd say that, without helmet crest, he's around a head shorter than the Runebearer, though about as wide across the shoulders.

In fact, when you consider the Hare Warrior is supplied with a 40mm base, I was a little surprised the Tortoise wasn't as well. I think he'd do as good a job as the Runebearer at filling one of them up.

Painting Experience

I enjoyed painting Hermann's Tortoise - as well as the Squirrel and Pug, which I've also finished now. I went with classic Roman colours of purple, red and gold, along with green skin and a dark brown shell. I even tried my hand at a tortoiseshell effect on the belly and shell, though I'm not sure it came off so well.

As the sculpt has well-defined detail, it made painting it nice and simple. As I use quite a few washes and shades when I'm painting, I was able to show off the textures with a wash, which makes getting a nice result a less stressful process.

I did more highlighting work on the cloak than I normally to - I normally prefer to basecoat with a lighter colour and then wash it down, relying on a natural highlight effect, but I thought I'd try and put the effort in.

The base was finished off with a couple of tufts of static grass from one of the Army Painter sets. At the minute, I prefer using tufts to blobbing glue on and applying static grass from a bag - far less mess, for one thing.

Conclusion

It has taken me a while to get this review written - not because of the model, but just because I took a bit of a break from painting, and didn't want to post the review until I'd painted the Tortoise. This doesn't reflect on the Oathsworn miniatures at all - I've been really impressed with their quality, as well as their customer service - I just fell out of wanting to paint.

I'm really impressed with the Oathsworn models, especially given they're single-piece metal models. In fact, I've been so impressed with them that I've since backed two of their Kickstarters - at time of writing, I'm waiting for the latest Burrows & Badgers rewards to come through the post, and will probably do an unboxing post on them when they get here.

If you're unsure, I thoroughly recommend picking up a couple of figures from either of the Oathsworn ranges, and give them a shot.

The Impertinent Details


Code
Title
Cost
BB08Hare Warrior£5.00
BB09Squirrel Rogue£3.00
FL14Pug Bounty Hunter2£5.00
FL20Hermann's Tortoise£6.00
FL23Frog Fixer£4.00


1 - Or try to, anyway. Sculpting isn't my strong suit...
2 - I always want to call this guy "Pug the Bounty Hunter"...