Here we are once again with another review. For a time I thought this post would be overdue due to some horrible postage mishap but the gods of Chaos seem to be on my side once again. This time I’m tackling something rather different from the usual GW products: the Random Encounter! mini for the “contest” I’m participating in with the chaps at FigurinIstanbul. So gather round and take a look at the wary stance of this dwarf after the jump.
The model is supplied by FeR miniatures, a brand that specializes in a variety of 54mm and bust models from fantasy to historical content. They’re based in Spain, so postage fees and times may vary depending on your location. Their work on Civil War busts is astonishing to say the least, but I digress. You can reach the store page here.
When I first ordered the mini I was a little worried since this was quite different from ordering from GW or its Ankara affiliate Oversoul. I have an innate (yet obviously superstitious) belief that purchases on the internet tend to go awry and will let me down. However, I was quite relieved when I saw the vendor works with PayPal (which is always a good sign for the customer) for payments and previous experience from other painting contest participants was positive all around. So I took the leap of faith and ordered the mini. It took about 10 working days for it to arrive.
First impressions usually define the experience with the mini and this piece does not disappoint: the casting quality is exceptional, the packaging is quality and the sculpt is a beauty to behold. The mini is smaller than I imagined but this is a dwarf in 54mm scale after all! I guess I was misled by the gigantic visuals on the web store page. In addition to the box art the store page has a link to more shots by Fernando Ruiz (also available on his page in Putty and Paint) in high-resolution. So for those who are like me, this is a great place to check your work and compare. The box itself is very sturdy and has clicking sides that secure the mini inside. It’s also a nice container for some flock or may house a wet palette if that’s your thing. In short, nothing goes to waste with this kit, except for the sprue bits.
On to the model itself.
Compared to other resin minis I beheld (such as the Obliterators and Mutilators, The CSM Sorcerer, old Haemonculus and the FW Necron Tomb Stalker) this mini takes the cake in casting quality and need for repairs (or rather, lack thereof). No bubbles, no mould lines on the body (I looked quite hard to find one) and very little errors in casting and negligible damages. What’s there not to like? GW and FW, you’ll need to step up your game for quality like this.
The absolute centerpiece of the miniature, the face, is exceptionally sculpted. You see the love Jonatán Monerris gave the model at every little wrinkle on the forehead, every strand of beard and the characterful eyebrows that gives so many options for a diorama involving the dwarf. Depending on your color scheme you can age the character and change its look which is actually supported by the sculpt. Absolutely stunning. Reminds me of FW Horus Heresy character series faces.
The rest of the model is covered with a healthy mix of wrinkles on the shirt and strands of hair and beard as well as flat surfaces like the cloak folds and the blade, which gives great opportunity to work blending and highlights to the model no matter the skill level. I have a few ideas about the blade with NMM but we’ll see how it goes.
Of course the mini is not flawless but there’s not a ton of work needed to prepare the it for priming and paint. Compared to my experience with the Obliterators where entire pieces of focal points were missing (shoulder pad trims, chains, hoses) this is a walk in the park.
All in all the miniature is a great piece for collectors and is a good canvas for hobbyists of any level. The total cost including shipment was €22.50 for Turkey (in Europe it would be a little cheaper) which is comparable to GW prices, however the quality of the cast and ease of assembly is superior in comparison. I can easily recommend it to all who are interested in similar figures.
I hope that this review was helpful to you and that you enjoyed it. Until next time, happy painting!