Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: My first Dark Sword miniatures

In a quest to continually improve my painting skills, I am always on the lookout for well sculpted miniatures that are more natural and life-like, especially those in the fantasy/historical/medieval genre. Miniatures of human sculptures are less forgiving on a bad paint job versus say an ork as the human eye has been conditioned to expect certain things on a painted human form (realistic skintone, eyes, etc) thus forcing me to improve my skills. My collection of Games Workshop alternatives was limited to Kingdom Death miniatures but I have now managed to add some Dark Sword stuff to my collection.    

Miniatures from Dark Sword's Masterworks Elmore and Vision of Fantasy line

This batch of Dark Sword miniatures was ordered online and I was happy with the packaging that the metal miniatures came in. Having the sponge in the package itself to give added protection was a nice little touch. I was also impressed with the fine details in the very well sculpted miniatures, which come in sizes ranging from 28 mm to 32 mm to 54 mm.     

Closeup of the Female Elven Princess in its secure packaging

With little experience in working with metal figures, I had some trouble spotting mould lines which are harder to see in the shiny metal surface. But thankfully, there weren't many mould lines to begin with. Moreover, some of the figures were sculpted with minimal assembly required. Both characteristics endeared me even more to the miniatures. Most importantly, I feel that they are priced reasonably for such good quality and finely detailed models with prices starting from US$7.99.

Female bard with lute: Before and after priming
Female mage on stairs: Before and after priming

In addition, I got two Dark Sword miniatures from the George R.R. Martin Masterworks series. Finding myself with more time on my hands has allowed me to start reading the Game of Thrones books (still on Book 1 so no spoilers please) that I hadn't had time for previously. Needless to say, with books I read being a major influence on what I like to paint and with me seemingly attracted to painting "bad guys", who else than the Lannister twins to start me off on this potentially huge project.

Lannister twins will kickstart my Game of Thrones project

So far, I have only worked on the miniatures up to the priming stage. Nonetheless, I am already a huge fan of the Dark Sword miniatures. I also found two other miniature companies with beautifully sculpted miniatures, one in Spain and one in France.The devil is in the details, and like Dark Sword Miniatures, both the Spanish and French companies have wonderfully detailed miniatures. I will touch more on the products of these two European companies in later blog posts.

Being a painter first and a gamer ... well I have not gamed at all yet ... it looks like I will be looking to expand my paint collection next. I have the Vallejo Model Colours and the Reaper Paint triads, next in my sights, and I believe they will complement my Citadel acrylic paints nicely. That too will be a story for another day.

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