Yesterday I acquired the first characters for my gathering Vampire Counts army. Some of these were GW models, but in this post I want to focus on the miniatures that I got from Mantic Games, specifically the Death Kings Cabal. These are the first I've bought from Mantic, after spending the last month or so looking at their website and a few models that are on display in my local hoppy shop, the excellent and highly recommended Firestorm Games.
The models in their box with foam, bubble wrap,
some stickers and a 'mantic point'
This is worth a mention in its own right because the box has been designed with storage in mind. On opening I was very pleased to see the two reasonably substantial sheets of form that can be used to protect the figures once glued and painted, and not just hold them in place in the shop. I really like this way of supplying miniatures and I hope (somewhat pointlessly) that a certain other company takes up the idea. I also like the humour on the box, which includes the following warning: "Assemble your models in well ventilated area - decomposing undead are unknown to stink" :-)
In their pre-assembly state the miniatures were all a little bent and I was worried that they might not withstand straightening - however, all the parts that required a little tweak went into the desired positioned easily. The detail isn't knock-out stunning, probably being on a par with early 90s Citadel, which is no bad thing on the whole. The trouble is that I was comparing them directly with the Finecast models that I'd just opened (more of which in another post); not really a fair comparison.
|Standard bearer, wight king, male necromancer, and|
female necromancer (apologies for poor photo quality,
autumn has finally arrived in Wales!)
I would say that my favourite at this stage is the standard bearer, whose ghoulish banner will certainly be fun to paint and field. I like the concept behind the male necromancer but having inspected the model closely I think the intentions rather outpace the realisation - it just doesn't look as good as it should. Once painted of course, it may be a different matter, and I plan to dedicate some time to getting the swirl of magical energy beneath him just right. The revenant/wight king is fine, while the female necromancer actually reminds me of 40k Dark Eldar. There's quite a bit of cleaning up required on these miniatures, although this won't trouble an experienced modeller.
Overall I'm cautiously optimistic and I'm looking forward to getting these undercoated and then applying a light wash to see how the detail will take shape.