Do-it-Yourself Terrain

Mantic Abyssal Dwarf Metal Blister Multi-Review


Post by Bill

So if you’ve seen my posts here’s over the years, I’ve been collecting the Abyssal Dwarf line from Mantic for quite some time. I have not been impressed previously with the metal casting quality and the hybrid kits that Mantic has used from time to time. I have also run into a few instances were major details on metal pieces were ruined by large flash / miscasts. Thankfully, they have improved their processes enough to produce some pretty decent figures.

Dragon Fire Team Blister Front

Dragon Fire Team Blister Front

Some of the things I like about these kits will cover all 3 blisters and some will be about specific models, I’ll try to highlight each one as I go.  I started this review a while back, but never got around to finishing it, so in the case of these miniatures I finished painting two of these models and not sure if I’ll paint later.


Dragon Fire Team Blister Back

The dragon fire team was a pretty easy metal kit to clean up in terms of flash and very easy to put together.  The flash locations were in places that easily filed off and made for a clean looking miniature.


Dragon Fire Team Assembled

The one downside to this miniature is that given the 50mm base, it’s super crowded, and later on proved a challenge to paint.  I ended up removing the secondary angry dwarf from the base to paint, which made it a lot easier to manage.  Overall this miniature turned out well and I’ll have pictures of my painted one up in the future with all of my finished Abyssal Dwarves.


Arhak Soulbinder Blister Front

Arhak Soulbinder was a pretty neat miniature on the surface and I was happy to see some oddball type stuff entering into Mantic’s range of miniatures.  Odd heroes, weird monsters to offset rank and file units is something that I have always liked when playing tabletop wargames.  Now, at the time I picked up this figure, Kings of War v1 was out, since then, Mantic ran another kickstarter and released Kings of War v2.


Arhak Soulbinder Blister Back

Sadly Arhak did not make it to Kings of War v2 from what I can tell, but hopefully he’ll end up in an expansion somewhere in the future.  Either way, a robot spider with a flame-thrower is a pretty interesting miniature in my book.  The legs on this mini took some coaxing, but the flash / mold lines were in pretty easy spots to clean up.


Arhak Soulbinder Parts


Arhak Soulbinder Assembled Front

I ended up trying a few poses with the legs and opted for some of them being up in the air like pictured on the blister.  I was hoping to make him look like he was lunging forward, but couldn’t make it work without having to pull out a pile of green stuff to accomplish this.


Arhak Soulbinder Assembled Rear


Ba’su’su Blister Front

The last blister was Ba’su’su the Vile, a character who made it from Kings of War v1 to Kings of War v2 and a model who looks very unassuming considering how strong of a character he is.


Ba’su’su Blister Back

The flashing on this miniature was attached to some small details, which was not the case on the first two miniatures in this review.  This made it a bit trickier to clean up the bottom of his wings.  Aside from that the miniature cleaned up fairly well.


Ba’su’su Parts

Another thing about this miniature was a set of thin veins on the wings, a neat detail.  But even with the thinnest amounts of paint, some of those veins were filled in by the primer and paint.  In the end, this miniature turned out alright, but I kinda wish it was larger and on a larger base.


Ba’su’su Assembled

All in all, the metal sculpts and casting quality has improved from Mantic.  Of course, it would be nice to get a plastic miniature with some options and bits on the sprue, but that’s not the case here.  As far as metal miniatures go, the quality is no on par with some of the larger manufacturers out there, but it makes me wonder why they didn’t option for resin for their solo miniatures.  Also, given that some of the other miniatures from Mantic are Resin/plastic combinations, which have varying quality issues, it would seem they were primed for moving to resin and plastic miniatures respectively.

Games-Workshop Undead Spirit Host Review


Post by Bill

So in the upcoming posts here, I’ll be posting my completed Abyssal (angry) Dwarf army, which means I’ll be moving onto a new army!  This review may or may not be an indication of what that army is going to be.

So for a hot minute, GW dropped the most amount of Warhammer Fantasy I’ve every seen in my entire gaming life, in The End Times series of books and miniatures.  Most of it was pretty awesome, and that’s me putting aside the fact that I have a Bretonnian army that has been neglected for an eternity and now seemingly indefinitely.



I have been collecting undead miniatures on and off for various reasons for years, mostly for scenarios and skirmish games like Mordheim, but nothing in the scope of an army.  Well, as I’ve been working through painting all of my Abyssal Dwarves for Kings of War, I decided I’d like to have a proper undead army next and that’s where these spirit hosts come in.



This kit will fill the role of Wights or counts-as werewolves, I’m leaning towards Wights, but haven’t played around with it much yet.  Either way, these kits are a challenge to put together.


40MM Bases

The instructions and sprues are laid out very logically and it was something that I figured, on the surface, would be an easy build.  I was totally wrong.


Sprue #1

Maybe it’s because I’ve lost my touch and been focused on painting and non-hobby things, but these guys kicked my ass.  The instructions clearly show how things fit and where they go, but due to the curvy ethereal nature of things, that totally doesn’t help at all.


Sprue #2

Each one I assembled it was on of those “ah-ha” type moments when you get it to fit right.  Each stand has 3 “spirits” coming out from the base to form a small group.  This effect is pretty nice when you get them all lined up as a group.  One of the things I noticed on these sprues was the lack of options for weapons.   Now I’m not looking for options like hammers and shields, but I was more thinking it was strange they have daggers in their hands.  I’d be fine with a no weapon option and a dagger option, but that wasn’t the case with these kits.   There are no extra bits really aside from a random tombstone.


Sprue #3

Now, I know every kit can’t come with tons of options to allow for 3-4 configurations of figures, but 1 or 2 options would be pretty swell.  I guess we’re spoiled when it comes to GW kits and my expectations are pretty high because of all these years of being spoiled with tons of bits and options in plastic kits.


All 3 Assembled

Overall this kit is nice and will fit nicely into my upcoming Undead army.  The miniatures are great looking and will either be easily painted or a real challenge to make them look great, that part remains to be seen.  The base up nicely but really lack some of the options and configurations that we come to expect from Games-Workshop.  That said, this kit is likely built specifically for The End Times books and army lists and that may be the sole reason why there are no weapon options on this kit.  If you’re looking for some modern ghosts or spirits, these guys are a pretty good fit.

(Don’t tell anyone I will be deploying these guys in Kings of War primarily!)

Game Table Rebuild


Post by Bill

The most underrated and overlooked part of gaming sometimes is the place you play and the surface you play on.   This table goes back through a very large portion of my life and the gaming history for my gaming friends and I.  This table was in need of an upgrade. At some point in its life, we (my brother and I) decided that it needed trays along the sides to help aid our gaming, but like most things we build, we over built it. This table was so large we referred to it as a backup tornado shelter.




But all things must be reborn into something new. I’ve been planning on rebuilding this table for over a year, and the pictures below will make you go “did you even do anything different?” and the answer is yes. Hopefully some of my thoughts here help you in your gaming table journey if you’re lucky enough, like me, to have a space to have a permanent table.


One of the main features of this table is storage.  The old table was just a hair too short (about 4 inches overall) and I wanted to make the new table tall enough to store large bins on the shelf and on the floor. Our table stands right around 36 Inches tall.


The old table was built with 2×4 lumber and plywood.  The new table was built with 1×2 and 1×4 lumber, making it much lighter than it’s predecessor.


And we couldn’t leave out our trays, but we made this table ~14 inches narrower by putting the drawers on sliders.


Throughout the whole build of this table, we were doing a couple of things not really pictured here.  One of those things way making an attempt to reuse any of the lumber we could cause frankly, it saved a bunch of money during this process.



Now, I didn’t do this by myself, I had the help from my brother Brian and friend Richy.  This table wouldn’t have happened without them for sure.  All of this effort so I could start upgrading the tabletop to Secretweapon Miniatures Tablescapes…more posts on that coming soon.