Sunday, February 19, 2017

So about that Kickstarter...

On May 11th of 2014, a Kickstarter by a company named Creature Caster was successfully funded, and by successfully funded I mean the funding goal was absolutely crushed.  The target goal was $30,000 Canadian... the final total amount raised was $324,511 Canadian with 1,487 backers.  For a Kickstarter, that was a phenomenal campaign.  Now, this is where the disclaimer comes in...

This is primarily about the models I received.  Not how Creature Caster ran their campaign after funding.  Nor is this about how Jeremy did, or did not, handle things.  If you're curious as to what I'm referring to, I'm sure a quick search will yield results.  I do know there was a lengthy post over on Dakka, but you could also just read the comments at Creature Caster KS page as well.  Kickstarters can be risky, almost everyone knows someone who got burned by one.  My wife and kid are still waiting for anything from the Scary Godmother KS and that happened when my kid was still interested in Scary Godmother... 5-6 years ago now.  Anyway...

The things I will be focusing on are the actual models I received.  This was a Silver bundle of two models, the Spider and Vulture demons.  As you can imagine these would be alternatives for a Keeper of Secrets and a Lord of Change respectively.  I received my box last week but waited until yesterday, February 18th, to actually unpack them. This was my semi-annual hobby day with my buddy Dave.  Which I'll also expand some of the content here on the blog to showcase some of his Mechanicum, both 30 and 40k varieties.  He has some crazy conversions and the world needs to know damn it!

First thing, the models were bubble packed in a cardboard box.  There were also two bonus minis in the box, however these were loose and not in anything.  So before I even opened the box I was a little apprehensive about it's contents since I could hear rattling from the box.  After opening the box I was relieved to see the models I ordered were somewhat protected.  The bonus minis are not really worth mentioning as they seem to be after thoughts and rushed in their design.  They were a nice gesture but not really anything special.

 

Much to my relief, all the pieces were there for both models.  Not only the base parts to complete the mini but all the stretch goals of extra parts were there as well.  

   

The casting quality was... ok.  Several pieces had mold slips and so I'm going to have to back in and do quite a bit of sanding/back filling/scraping on these models. Especially the Spider Demon since a lot of her is very smooth those mold lines are particularly noticeable.  It was the hands on both models that suffered the most from this, the fingers are going to need a fair amount of work to look good.

       

Surprisingly there were little to no bubbles in the bodies, heads, arms, and legs of these models.  So that is great.  The pieces that seems to have the most, if not all the bubbles, were the wings for the Vulture Demon.  Now, if you look closely you will the majority of the "bubbles" are along the edges of the feathers.  This could be a sculpted detail to give that frayed look to the feathers once it's painted.  Or, it was a really bad day for mixing resin.  I'm still out on this.  What's probably going on is both.  Some of those bubbles/divots are probably there to represent the splaying of feathers.  Makes sense for something that large flying through the air.  The mold could have been detailed enough that so many air traps were an unforeseen complication.  Regardless of what's actually happening I will have to go back through and and fill some of those holes.  Or use a different set a of wings from the bits box.

 

This leads me to the next part of seemingly unfinished areas.  Most of parts for these models fit together pretty seemlessly.  They match up and the detail flows from one piece to the next rather well.  This is especially so for the Vulture Demon.  That thing is packed with flowing detail that goes from on part to another.  Where it was glaringly lacking was on the Spider Demon, in particular where the head meets the neck.  All that awesome texture along the spine and it just stops at the head.  What?  That's just bad from a craftsmanship stand point.  Also, I believe those tubes going up from the jawline and behind the horns are supposed to be ears.  I think.  It's an odd detail and it's not really clear what it's supposed to be.

 

There are some odd match ups as well.  The area on both models that didn't really want to line up well was the completed model into the sculpted base that came with it.  To their credit, Creature Caster tried to make it easy.  They even had pegs on the feet so you didn't have to pin them separately.  I'll probably have to do that anyway since there was a slight warping to the legs.  They curved in just the slightest amount, a millimeter or two but that's enough to strain it.  The sculpted details of the base also didn't quite match up as well.  So the feet appear to be floating and I ended up having to cut the pegs off to get them to fit into the base at all.  In hindsight, one could deepen the holes in the base and not have to cut the pegs down at all.  Also, you can see the mold slip on the Vulture Demon base.

       

The scale is nice.  These are greater demons and their size reflects that.  When compared to the a Knight they size up well.

 

All of my greater Demon proxies/conversions are on the large oval base.  That fits their size without making them super unwieldy to field.

In closing...

These are good models, not great but good.  The detail is pretty crisp all over and there was actually little to no flashing.  Although I'd almost prefer that over the molds slipping.  To be honest, I've had both better and worse kits.  I think with a little green stuff and some extra bits these will work well with my other greater demons as far as looks.  I'm glad I got them, but I wasn't "OMG!!1!" when I was able to actually hold them.  They're nice for the price, well the price at the time, and I don't know what they are charging to them now in the online store.

At the time, 3 years ago, these were cutting edge.  I remember the excitement these generated when the first renders were making the rounds.  Even in an "alpha" state they were amazing for the time.  Bigger, and badder than GW's greater demons.   Jeremy is an obviously talented artist, given that... I'm glad he's not solely running things anymore and wish him and the company smooth sailing from here.

This was before a lot things.  Before the gaming world upset of Age of Sigmar and the death of WHF.  The release of the plastic Bloodthirster, and now the Lord of Change.  Both of which have upped the bar considerably for not only size, but also detail.  Those kits are amazing.  Technically you could say the Glottkin can be the plastic Great Unclean One, if you assemble him without his brothers attached.  Which many people have done.  That just leaves a new Keeper of Secrets, which we might just see with the Eldar about ready to throw down with Ynnead.  

I think there was a lot of potential with these kits.  Due to problems with the management of the KS and manufacturing problems there was a great window of opportunity that wasn't capitalized on.  If they would have been able to turn things around in a year, not almost 3, they probaly would be one of the more successful mini companies out there today.  We'll see how they fair in the future, and I wish them the best of luck.




2 comments:

  1. Cheers for the in-depth look at the models: I have been eyeing the war daemon as a possible Bloodthirster alternative (love the new GW kit, but I already have two of them), so it's good to read about some firsthand experiences with the kits.

    While I agree that these are no longer quite as exceptional as they were before the new GW plastic greater daemons hit, I still think some of the designs are incredibly good -- especially the spider demon (seeing how I doubt we'll be seeing anything similar from GW) and the war demon (a brilliant take on the Bloodthirster/Balrog archetype).

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    1. I still think these make great alternatives for the greater demons, and I'm still glad I got them. I think the company is trying to make sure all the pledges are filled so quality control might be a little relaxeed. That said, I agree the designs are good, and I think with a few extra bits they will be more than adequate. The resin is good, strong but not brittle and I only had to pin two parts... the sword hand onto the arm and the staff under the hand. Everything else was the keys on the parts.

      If you get one, I know you'll rock it, and look forward to it!

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