Thursday, 13 April 2017

Tor Gaming - Death from Above

The Relics C'thu range keeps on growing - Gav1 still has several codes from the initial C'thu line to release, and this month it was the turn of the Vesparther. Given I'm working on a C'thu army, alongside my Britanans, I pre-ordered them, and was fortunate enough that Gav was feeling generous, as I got them a little early.

While this is the third time I've reviewed a C'thu figure, I'll give you a quick recap - Relics is a skirmish game produced by Tor Gaming2, a small company based in Sheffield, UK. It is described by its creator as a stitch-punk game, and sees forces from six different factions3 battling it out in the world of Relicia. A second edition of the game is, at time of writing, undergoing a final public review and test before going to print, so this is a good time to think about diving in.

What are the Vesparther, then? Well, they're a unit of flying melee beasties, which compliment the larger Vesparmoth that you get in the C'thu starter set. Adding this unit to your army gets you four creatures which will be able to quickly close on the enemy, taking advantage of any Horror tokens you've been able to inflict upon their targets to make themselves more effective.

If paired with a Vesparmoth, they become even more effective, with each Vesparmoth able to give a unit of Vesparther the Crush ability for a turn. In any game, being able to make people re-roll successful defensive rolls is a strong option, so this is a really handy bonus for the Vesparther to gain from a thematic pairing.

A quick word on packaging - the Vesparther unit comes in a plastic blister pack, with two smaller bags inside it. One contains the four 40mm lipped bases and hexagonal flight stands you need for the models, while the other holds the metal components. Everything seems secure, and given the models are metal, the odds on any of the bits being damaged are very low indeed.

Components

I've mentioned the metal components already, so let's see what you get for the unit. The heavy bag o' metal held four bodies and four sets of wings. Two things became apparent at this point - firstly, that there only appeared to be two body sculpts for a four model unit4, and secondly that the wings were in a different position to the render.

On closer inspection, I also noticed quite a few bits of flash and vents on the models. One set of wings had quite a wide area of the thin flash that indicates metal managed to seep between the two halves of the mould - it won't be impossible to clean up, but it may well be a little frustrating.

Most of the vents I saw on the bodies shouldn't be that hard to clean up, with a couple of exceptions. On the majority body, there was a vent in the socket the wings are meant to be in which was a little tricky to get a good angle on with my clippers. On the minority body, there was a vent coming out of what appeared to be a small gem - that one was concerning, as you don't want to obliterate detail while cleaning up the cast.

Construction

Before building the models, I'd recommend putting the bases together. This is fairly simple - glue the hexagonal flight stand base on top of the 40mm base, where it should fit with a little bit of wiggle room. Once the glue has dried, glue the shaft of the flight stand in place. Dry fit that first, as if it gets stuck before being fully seated in the socket, the base will be weaker. I'm intending to come back with some filler to shape the base before I texture it, but that's your call. Equally, you could replace the plastic flight stand with a length of brass rod if you wanted a sturdier stand.

Once the base is assembled, the first thing I needed to do once I'd cleaned up the flash was to drill a receiver hole for the top of the flight stand. From talking to Gav about the Vesparmoth, this was omitted from the model to make casting easier. I used a 1.6mm drill bit - mainly because it was the largest I own - and with a little care and the application of a file to the nub at the top of the flight stand, I was able to get a decent fit.

Turning my attention to the wings, one of the advantages of metal came into play. If I'd received perfectly flat wings like this with a resin or plastic kit, reshaping them would have been a bit of a pain. In the case of the Vesparther, warming the metal with my hands a little, then applying pressure, allowed me to bend them into a new pose. In a way, this helps circumvent the problem of only having two body designs - having wings bent at different angles allows for the post to look different, even if it isn't. A drop of superglue later, and my first Vesparther was assembled.

Final Thoughts

Scale dwarf is wondering why he keeps getting the short end of the stick...
What do I think of the Vesparthers, then? I'm pretty happy with them - as you can see from the scale shot above, they're of a decent size, and they look to be a decent unit in the game. I've still got three to assemble, and I have been wondering whether using magnets might be a better idea than relying on the peg of the flight stand - they always seemed a touch fragile when using them on figures in the past, and having the tip break off in the model was always a bit awkward.

The models share plenty of design cues from the Vesparmoth and other elements of the C'thu line, so should fit in well with the C'tharac in the above picture. The entire line continues to look well as one which can be re-purposed for C'thulhu-type creatures in other tabletop games or roleplaying games. So, yes, I do recommend picking them up, especially if you're a fan of the more gribbly style of figures.

The Impertinent Details


Code
Title
RRP
TG-RELC11C'thu Vesparther£18.00


1 - Gavin Moorcroft, the mind behind Tor Gaming and Relics.
2 - This would explain why I keep adding their logo to articles...
3 - Or seven, if you count the Mercenaries.
4 - I had them in a 3-to-1 ratio, which seems a little odd for a game which I don't believe has unit leaders.