Friday, September 7

Review: Abyssal Dwarf Halfbreeds from Mantic Games

The artwork on the box
Since I have been working on different manufacturers' products recently, I thought it is time for another review post. Today, I have Mantic's Abyssal Dwarf Halfbreeds under the spotlight. When they were announced, I was so excited that I went on and preordered not one but two boxes of these guys. That was the very first preorder I have ever placed. Yeah, I'm a n00b, so what...? :)

I will try to follow my review method here, with occasional comments in the last section.

Packaging:
The miniatures come in Mantic's usual hard plastic box. The artwork on the box is consistent with the rest of the product line and wrapped with cellophane. I find Mantic's packaging very good for all their products and there is no surprise here. The only thing that caught my eye is that the Mantic Point for this box is located on the backside of the box. Before, the Mantic Points were made as stickers and thrown into the box, now you have to tear the cellophane and cut the point from the artwork on the box.

Score: 9.5/10

Contents:
Unboxing...
Let's open the box and have a peek. Here are the contents:
  • Two packs of bits (all plastic)
  • Ten 25x50mm (cavalry) bases on sprues
  • Four-page Mantic brochure
  • Protective foams
As advertised on the box, each box has just enough bits to make 10 halfbreeds. There are no extra bits provided and that means there are no bits to build command troops. The surprising thing for me here was even the head bits are made of plastic. All the head bits except one are the same with the abyssal dwarfs infantries' heads and they were metal. I wonder if Mantic will change them to plastics too.

A quick word about the equipment options: The weapons they carry are great weapons and there are no other weapon options nor any shields.

Another point worth noting is the base sizes. If you are planning to use these ones as bull centaurs for you Legion of Azgorh army, you'll need 50x75mm bases. Just keep that in mind.

Score: 7.5/10

Quality:
All the bits
Brace yourself Mantic, harsh criticisms coming... Even though I admire Mantic's work and advocate their products all the time, I have to say that they seem to have botched this time. The bits have horrible amounts of flash and they cannot be removed easily. The mold lines are awkward, because they go through areas which have details on them, which makes them harder to get rid of. Last, but not the least, you cannot just glue the parts together, due to the gaps between the bits. The size of those gaps are abnormally big for a plastic kit and I had to use stuffing to make them disappear. You can see the size of the gaps in the photos at the end of the post. They are huge!

After all these smack-down, I must say that they don't totally suck. Each miniature is built by using 5-6 parts and an occasional bit to place under the hoofs to make them stand still. There is a huge room for conversions for these guys. With a few bits lying around in your bitz box, you can turn them to whatever you want.

The detail level is the same Mantic level; but you have to free them from the mold lines first. Why Mantic, why...?

Score: 3/10

Price:
This box currently retails for £15.99 at Wayland Games, which I think is an awesome price. Games Workshop's old bull centaurs sell for almost an arm and a leg on eBay and at £1.60 per mini, these miniatures are a decent alternative here.

Score: 10/10



OVERALL SCORE: 6.5/10 

The average of the scores tells 6.5 out of 10; but if you are too obsessed with details or don't want to deal with cleaning or stuffing your minis, this kit is definitely not for you. 
Maybe the most important factor that will influence your decision here though, is the scale of the miniatures. They are the same scale with the GW's old bull centaurs and Mantic's abyssal half breed lord as you can see from the photos. However, they are nowhere near Forge World's newly released bull centaurs. You will not be able to mix-match them with FW ones, for the FW ones will tower over them. But if you already have painted GW's or Mantic's minis like me, this kit will serve you well.

Here is a quick summary for your convenience:

+ Good price
+ Decent packaging 
+ Nice alternative for GW's old bull centaurs
- The scale (Forge World's bull centaurs completely dwarf them)
- No extra bits, no command bits, lack of 75x50mm bases
- Lack of equipment options
- Not the best quality miniatures, too much hassle to build

I have a couple of them on my workbench right now. I will post painted photos of them soon. Below are a couple of size comparison shots though. Enjoy...
 
Comparison with Mantic's Halfbreed lord
Comparison with GW's bull centaurs

2 comments:

Ralph said... [Reply]

Any ideas how I can bulk these guys up so they fill up those 75mm x 50mm Bases?

BuRock said... [Reply]

@Ralph

I bought the bases from Fenris Games as a custom order, Ralph. Although they don't keep stocks for such a weird base size, they laser-cut them upon order and deliver quickly.

you can see the details here.

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