Thursday, May 26, 2016

Malifaux Commission and Model Review

When I started working on these Malifaux Gremlins, including the Kin, and a bunch of Bayou Gremlins, I had no idea how tough they would be. So Many tiny parts, some extremely fragile, without any instructions on how they fit together. I managed to piece together some of the more obvious models, but I hit a low point with the youngsters from the Kin. I had no clue where some parts were supposed to go. 

It wasn't until I made a comment on Facebook did someone point out that there were assembly directions posted to the Malifaux website. I looked at the box again to see what I missed. There was not a single mention of where to find instructions. WTF? I guess you're just supposed to know where to find them? 

The other issue I ran into was...some of the parts are paper thin and broke during assembly. I had to resculpt some areas to fix the breaks. Then I was super worried about how to ship such fragile models to the client. That's when I decided that some of the models needed some support. I decided to glue some GW plastic trees to the bases to act as base handles for games and to protect the models during shipment. 

Painting the models was tough as well, because some of the details are very soft, they have to be exaggerated by the painter. The big guy...I don't know his name but he is the oversized goblin in the pictures...his face is just a complete failure by the sculptor. There is no way to paint that face to make it look half-way decent. I know...I spent hours trying to get it right and he still looks odd. 

All of this has really turned me off to ever painting a Malifaux model again. The major issues appear to be:
1) Fragility: This is huge. These are gaming models in plastic, they should be durable. Malifaux models are not. Why? Because the digital design process did not appear factor in how the model will be cut on the sprue. For examples, legs are often separate from the waist AND feet. This means that the joins between many components of the model will be weak. 

2) Shallow cuts. Perhaps due to the digital design process, many of the model's details do not have deep enough cuts that make painting easier. Details stand out more when they have deeper cuts. Malifaux models have very shallow cuts which leads to details meshing together, or not being prominent enough to easily paint. 

3) Lack of flare. I don't know why, but some of these models really did not have a whole lot of detail to embellish. Their leader, Ophelia, is really plain looking. There really isn't anything that sets her apart as a leader. Then there is the big guy...Sure he has a pig under his arm, which is cool, but other than that there really isn't much to paint on this guy. Being bigger should have allowed them to put some more visual interest on the model, but they just didn't do it. 

I think all of this reflects poorly on the company's "gremlin" range. They do not seem to understand the pains and gains of the painter. 

I really could not, in good conscience, recommend collecting Gremlins to anyone. The rest of the range is unknown to me, but these models really don't fill me with enthusiasm for anything Wyrd does. 


G Red said...

First, nice work on those gremlins. They do look good. I hope the client is satisfied.

The Smoke and Mirrors crew, the Showgirls, are also very fragile, very very fragile. And fussy to glue with lots of tiny pieces and tiny glue surfaces. I think they are cut into so many pieces to overcome the problem with trying to make decent undercuts in plastic minis. Still, no excuse for the fragility. I am afraid to ever put my crew on the table, because of all the tiny, delicate bits. I think I'll need to encase them in sections of plastic cylinder, like that used for aquariums if I ever put them on the table. Wyrd seems to have forgotten that these things are [i]game pieces[/i].

The smoke and mirror crew have plenty of detail. I think they'll paint up nicely enough, but it will be a while before I get to them. I'm too busy trying to get my Infinity figs painted. I am a slow painter. Very slow.

The boxes I had had little cards in them that gave the URL to go to for the instructions. So, maybe Wyrd added those in in later production runs.

Mike Brandt; mvbrandt@gmail said...

The gremlins are one of the major contention points, as are many early malifaux plastics. Later stuff has all been better, but the assembly and fragility is a very real weakness. Probably part of what led me to just playing one of the basic crews basically all the time. No room for tweaking and building a bunch of gaming options when it's gonna be a huge pain.

Bachir Messaouri said...


I would like to have a quote about your prices.
I am not familiar with blogger and I have a hard time finding your contact email.
How can I reach you?


Tim said...

Hi Bachir! I am sorry that I haven't made my email easy to find. Here it is, take away spaces and use the @ symbol
tim and lucka at gmail dot com

I look forward to hearing from you.