Monday, March 17, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Irish

by Mike Wood

I have a few packs of Gripping Beast Irish models to review. These are great for playing Saga as they include Champions and a Mounted Warlord option in their range. Lets take a look at each pack and see what they have to offer....

Gripping Beast Mounted Warlord SI01c (all models courtesy of Gripping Beast)

Irish Mounted Warlord SI01c

This figure came as a rider, mount, sword and plastic Renedra cavalry base.

The horse has long shaggy hair (mane and legs) and a sweeping tail that should add interest for the painter. The horse is more shaggy oversize pony befitting its origins rather than the larger continental Norman horse. There is a saddle and reins modelled but no other adornments. The horse model had a mould line running along its back that should clean easily with a blade or file with no impact. There seems to be a little flash on the underside of the horse near the join with the legs. This seems mild and easy to clean. The horse is mounted on its own solid base which needed a little cleaning on the underside to get it to sit comfortably on the plastic cavalry base.

The Warlord has plenty of detail with a shield on the left armour posed for protection. He has long hair tied in a pony tail. There is a cloak with a fur neckline and a suit of chainmail armour. There are plenty of folds on the cloak for the painter to work on. The right arm is held upward with an open hand ready to accept the sword which itself will need gluing in place. The rider needed to have his legs pinched closer together to get him to sit on the horse. There appears to be no flash on the rider and a barely noticeable mould line on the outer lower legs. This is easily removed with blade or file and does not impact any detail.

The mount appears to be moving at a slow walking pace or about to move. The pose of the Warlord with sword arm straight in the air suggests he is about to order his troops into battle.

This pair have a commanding air and should look great as a leader for your Irish force.

Irish Curaidh (Hearthguard Champions) SI02

This pack consists of two figures to act as Champions for your Warband. They come with two spears and a sword and two round plastic Renedra bases.

One figure stands upright with left hand ready and open to take a sword and right hand upward and open ready for a spear. This figure has a serious looking face with long flowing hair, moustache and beard. He wears a long tunic and long fur cloak. This figure had no flash and a barely visible mould line across the top of the left arm and onto the left fur-covered shoulder. Cleaning the cloak of the mould line is not essential but for the perfectionist would need a little patience and a small file.

The second figure has his hands close together as if holding a spear in a defensive posture. The left hand is open ready for the spear, the right hand is drilled partly. The right hand may need some work to get the end of the soft wire spear to fit. Alternatively try a narrower solid spear. A pin vice should be able to drill out the hole a little larger although you could just glue the end of the spear to the front of the right hand and get the same effect. The second figure had a little flash on the edge of its base that is easily removed. There is no obvious mould line to remove on this figure.
The rest of this model has a sword in a hilt, a suit of chainmail and a small purse on the front of the belt. The head has long hair in a dreadlock style anlong with a beard and moustache.

These figures are designed to stand out from the crowd and I think they do. Good solid castings that should make for great paint jobs.

Irish Bonnachts (Warriors) SI07

This pack of eight Warriors comes with separate shields, spears and plastic Renedra bases.

The figures are all in fairly dynamic and unique poses. They have shaggy hair and beards and wear basic tunics, belts and (some) cloaks. All of the cloaks have ripples and folds and two have tassels sewn into them. Five of the figures are designed to have upright spears and three with thrusting or throwing poses.

Shields are designed to be glued to the left arms. The right hands on the models are all cast open ready to take the spears. Only one looked like it might need filing to open it up more for the larger soft metal spears (the thinner solid spears should not be an issue). The models have minimal mould lines and just a little flash here and there between the arms and body. The figures can all be cleaned up quickly and with no impact to detail.

Irish Kerns (Levy) SI09

These twelve models came in four types with three of each. The type of figure was unique to help break up the repeat, but some work with painting would be needed to break up the repetitious nature of this unit when fielded full strength. The figures came with twelve soft metal spears and twelve plastic Renedra bases. All the figure types are dynamic and appear to be moving and throwing javelins. The spears provided would need to be cut down for this.

As is usual for Gripping Beast, all figures have good elements of detail on them. Although these are a "peasant" troop, the painter can find interesting hair, folds in clothing, purses on belts and such to add some character. Most of the figures have little knives modelled on their belts as a last line of defence!

There were some minor mould lines on the figures that could be cleaned easily and is only really noticeable on one type of figure with an outstretched left arm. Flash was non-existent on the figures and only the smallest amount on the underside of a couple of bases. Time to clean these figures should be minimal. Excellent quality for what would be seen as "just levy".


All together these are a great selection of troops requiring minimal cleanup time and no serious issues such as needing to re-pose the figures. I recommend these to gamers. The one thing you may like to add are some Shield decals and/or some wire spears.

All figures kindly provided by Gripping Beast.

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