Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Zombie of the Month- August 2014- Arcworlde Pirates by Warploque Miniatures

Yahar!!! It's your old friend the Second Class Elitist, up to no good and pillagin' Ali Alcatraz's regular monthly column.  Why is that?  And what's with the bad English?  It's time for some Pirates of the Black Coast from Warploque Miniatures, ye landlovers!

So, there was a Kickstarter for a game called Arcworlde that all of LXG really fell in love with.  Okay, mostly for the antics of the designer, sculptor, and only actual member of the company, Alex Huntley.  No, really, go watch the Kickstarter video.  We'll wait. It's worth the time, trust me.

So, it's a goodly amount of time later, and whadya know, the models actually arrived! And more or less on time, too!  Okay, so there's a bit of a catch- the rulebooks aren't available yet, so I can't actually play with these guys yet, but the models are here, and they're gorgeous. (By the way, if you're interested in the method used for the bloated sea-dead skin, we've got a step by step tutorial for you!)

 The basic warband of the Pirates of the Black Coast comes with five scurvy zombie Pirates, a half dozen zombified bilge rats (not pictured, they're coming in a later article), and a Pirate Captain.  Once the webstore opens, as Alex Huntley explained, they will be available in white metal.  These lovelies here are actually in resin, but I expect that the metal ones will look identical.

Each of the models has a tremendous amount of character.  From the poor bloke getting his brains picked out by a seagull, to the hanged man, each model has a unique character that makes them a joy to paint.

 The Basics:

Scale-  These guys are solidly in the "Heroic 28mm" category.  They are 26-28mm to the eye, and 30-32mm overal height (except for ol' Slouchy to the left here, but come on, he's getting his brains pecked out, posture's the last thing on his mind). Perfectly sized to be average-or-a-bit-above in your 28mm horde of Caribbean extras, or just below average if you flavor of maritime post-mordem is 32mm.
Genre- Arcworld is a Medeival Fantasy Skirmish game, and stays pretty true to the genre.  Bows, crossbows, and harpoons seem to be the order of the day, with flintlocks (or, flintloques?) being a rarity.  We think... ya know, with no rulebook yet, it's a little tough to tell, but using the released models as an indication, the game setting is very traditional Fantasy. Chances are, if you're going for Undead Pirates, you were going Medieval Fantasy anyway, right?

Material- It's tough for me to comment on the material used in the production line versions, because as stated these guys are resin instead of metal.  There were some models received form the Kickstarter though that were metal, and those were received undamaged- even the harpoon was unbent! That being said, the resin models had a bit of a problem with snapped ankles- something which won't be a problem with their metal counterparts. The models had very limited flashing (especially for resin kits), and were pretty quick to clean up.

Parts n' Bits- If you're lucky, there's no parts:  all of these models were designed as single-piece units. As mentioned, the resin kits had some bad ankles, but I expect there will be no such problems with the metal ones.  Also, to their credit, Warploque responded to notification of broken pieces the very next day... so that says something.

Assembly-  None.  Just open them up and you're done.  Which, considering I've been spending a lot of time recently on Malifaux kits, was quite the welcome surprise.

Bases- All come with a plain 30mm lipped base, as shown on the Captain to the left.  It's nice to see more and more games moving to these slightly larger bases.  As pieces creep up in height, it helps keep the model more proportionate. Additionally, it gives me more room to work with crafting mini-dioramas.


Sculpt- 5 brains out of 5-  Now some people are going to argue this one, but bear with me.  It's very true that the Arcworlde models are not "photorealistic sculpting."  Sorry to burst your 3D rendered bubbles, but that's not all there is to art.  While it's true these models might not have perfectly photorealistic values, they are sculpted anatomically proportionate (aside from a bit of the 28mm Heroic heads/hands/feet thing). These pieces are artistically crafted, in a high level of sculpting skill, and with tons of character.

Affordability- Ummm... well, the website isn't open yet, so there's really no way to know for certain how much they'll cost.  I'll make sure to revisit this once the rest of you can buy them. Promise.

Value-  Yeah.... if you got them in the Kickstarter they were a great value, considering you can't get them anywhere else yet.  See above.

Availability- Still reading, huh?  Well, I guess this one scores a big fat NO BRAINS, seeing as they're not yet purchasable in any way, including the creator's website.  I wonder if that Seagull pecked the brains all off of this one?

 Pros: Very unique, very characterful figures that can easily be added to any 28mm or even 32mm undead force.  Bonus points if that force has a maritime theme.

Cons: At least for the time being, if you don't have'em, you can't get'em.  If you were looking for something to match more closely with a 3D rendered or photorealistic force, they might be a harder sell.  Then again, dead at sea kinda takes it's toll, ya know?

Okay, since you stuck around for the ending credits, these two guys are your Easter eggs.  Rotten, smelly, undead eggs. Very high in protein, I'm sure.  The first one is the Old Man of the Sea, a spectral (we think) wizardy type bloke (we think).  He sits a bit taller than the rest, but that's mostly because he's missing the lower half of himself.  A really great piece, and a lot of fun to paint.  He was one of the metal pieces, and although he looks a little top heavy, there's more than enough contact to make me unconcerned about sagging.

Metal model number two:  The Harpooner.  I went a little crazy painting him with Maori tattoos for a literary reference, but it was worth it.  Much like the Old Man, no real flash or veining to speak of.  He's a bit taller than the rest, but Alex assures me it's intentional- he's supposed to be a mountain of a man. Er, zombie. A sea-mountain of a dead-man zombie thing.  Okay, I've lost the metaphor entirely. Trust me though, solid piece.

Okay everyone, thanks for reading! Don't worry, Ali will be back with her normal flavor of zombie articles next month, and I'll be back to my old tricks with some more Kickstarter reads, battle reports, and whatnot.

See you on the other side of the table,
The Second Class Elitist.

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