Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spinespur Kickstarter Models Review Pt I

     So, as anyone trying to read our blog will notice, hobby time has been on short supply recently.  I had really wanted to get these up and done before Cold War, but just ran out of time sadly.  So, about six weeks behind schedule, I wanted to show you guys some sexy lumps of metal I've been working on, delivered hot from the Spinespur kickstarter and now up for grabs on the Comfy Chair Website. 

     Spinespur I think will always remain a bit of a "guilty pleasure" game for me.  I just love this crazy thing.  It's not tournament or competitive play themed.  The models are in my least favorite material to work with, white metal.  The Campaign play rules are still a bit of a work in progress.   All reasons I should be spending my time and money somewhere else.  So, why am I talking about it then?  Because the rules for gameplay are tight and simple, using a unique gameplay engine, and the models and characters are simply too characterful to not build and paint.

     So, in this short set of reviews (two or three depending on how many I can fit in) I'll be painting up and discussing the models released via the recent Kickstarter.

     The Primes are a much-longer-for addition to the Institution's forces.  Not only are they physically powerful, but they can help keep some of your other rogue elements in line and doing what you want.  Definitely a plus on the table, and I don't think if I'm fielding the Institution that I'll ever go another game without at least one of them on the table.  The Primes come two models to a blister: which we've nicknamed "Punchy" and "Hamlet."  Punchy I believe will be fairly reposable- the joints are delineated really well, and if you're careful you could adjust his swing a bit.  As you can see, his right arm is far larger, so if you wanted to do a "patchwork man" paintjob on these it'd look impressive. Hamlet demonstrates the more cerebral side of the entry, and has great poise.


     The stance and definition on both of these models is really impressive.  I really wanted an over-the-shoulder OSL for Hamlet, and I think the lamp post from FireBucket Games did an excellent job of not only giving it the right height of OSL, but it stretches the model vertically and ties the base into the piece incredibly.

     Heavy Bat Thug is possibly the one out of the bunch I was looking forward to the least, but I think in person he does a lot more.  He is a little more expensive for a "basic thug" model (coming in at $11 instead of the four-pack for $15). However, he's a really solid model.  If you're playing some Street Chum he'd make a great Leader.  He's also burly enough that you could potentially use him as a one-off for other models ("Bash" in place of "Hack" for example?) and really, he's got enough weight to him that he's not overpriced, just not bargain basement.  One of the main reasons I was unsure about this model was that I wasn't sure how "interesting" he'd be to paint up.  Big boots, jeans, t-shirt, vest, no face, simple weapon.  Surprisingly, he's got a lot of detail.  The jeans and vest have a ton of folds in them (which I tried to demonstrate with a high contrast painting style). The t-shirt has some definition points on it, mostly the belly holes, but it's a blank enough canvas for some interesting free-hand work if you wanted.  The arms are a large blank canvas- as he's a bit of a fat fattie, there's no muscle tone to speak of.  Again, a good location for some freehand tat work if you're so inclined.  He also has a belt chain on the left hip that you didn't get to see during the Kickstarter.  What does someone like this in Spinespur need a belt chain wallet for?  I'm guessing to hold pictures of his mom and a " 'case condom," because he's obviously safety conscious and family oriented. There's a little bit of craziness on his forearms that I honestly couldn't quite make out what to do with them- not sure if that's due to a slight mismold, or if that's just some stuff up there, but thought I'd let you know.

     Spinespur is all about strange, unique characters, and to me none of the new models typifies that better than Bellsaw.  A butcher with a chainsaw wearing a diving helmet.  Oh, how I love Spinespur.  Seriously, what over game could offer a model like that with a straight face?  This model is expertly crafted.  It's the little things, like the folded down boots.  The attention to details is amazing.  Metal study, fabric study, leather study, and skin study all on the same model- there's a lot you can do with this guy. Again, from the purely "dollars to points" perspective he's twice as expensive as your basic chainsaw thug, but as a Street Chummer he's a step up. Also, there's just so much character to him. Diving hood and a chainsaw... again, where else are you gonna find that??? To me, the model was whispering that it wanted some semi-inappropriate freehand, so I figured a Mom tattoo would be perfect.

     Last but not least is a model I was really, really looking forward to painting, and it did not disappoint.  John Henry.  Oh, John Henry.  Two big hammers, very characterful face, lots of subtle details.  Defiance and willpower are written all over this one.  I think if you're playing Redemptionists, he fits your bill perfectly... and in fact I hope Dante gets redone at some point to be a little more like this. Just like the last two, he's only a "simple thug," so you're not getting the most in points per dollar.  

     This is a beautiful model, and the hobby needs to be more than just about points per dollar or we'd all be playing with cardboard cutouts. This isn't just a thug, this is a ten dollar thing of beauty.  I see a lot of conversion possibilities with this one as well, such as weapon changes and whatnot.  I repositioned him to be scaling a fire hydrant (courtesy of Fenris Games) to make the base a little more dramatic.  The model shows great movement as it is, but I wanted to tie that movement into his defiance, and having him trying to Hammerjaw someone like Hack or The Beast made that make perfect sense.

      So, there you have it.  Five models from four different kits.  All of which are available from Comfy Chair's webstore, so no reason not to go get some street cred of your own.

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