Monday, April 21, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Welsh

-- Review by Mike Wood

Here is a look at several packs of Gripping Beast models suitable for Dark Age Welsh warbands in the Saga wargame.

Lets start with the Warlord, this one is mounted.

Welsh Warlord SW01b

Gripping Beast Welsh Warlord SW01b (all figures from Gripping Beast)

This model comprises a mounted Warlord and his horse along with a sword and shield. The figures were good clean casts and didn't show any signs of flash. The horse is a solid beast in a fairly static pose. And is modelled with reins and a saddle. There is a slight mould line running along the beasts back but this can be removed with a sharp blade or file with no impact to detail.

The rider is wearing a mail shirt and helmet and is in a dynamic pose with his right arm modelled to bring a blow across to the right side of his mount. The static pose of the horse suggests the rider is already in combat and is striking down at those on foot around him. The model would make a decent centrepiece to a small vignette.

The rider has plenty of clean detail and with only a small mould line over the left shoulder on the cloak. This can be removed easily. The rider is wearing a cloak over the mail shirt which is lifted and rucked at the back to add more detail.

All in all the model is well detailed with the rider sitting well on the horse. Another quality piece from Gripping Beast and a good general for a Welsh or Strathclyde faction.

Welsh Priodaur (Warriors) SW04

These eight models come with shields and spears. If you are going to the spears as javelins, a little shortening with a sharp blade may be required. A note here, three of the models were holding their javelins or shields pointed out in front at head level. The others are holding the weapon in a single hand, ready to throw. These certainly are dynamic models.

A first look over these models shows some signs of flash mainly on the bases. There are signs of mild mold lines on some models along the outside of some of the legs and to a lesser extent on the shoulders and occasionally down the left arm. All of these can be removed with a scrape of a craft knife and do not look as though they would remove any of the detail.

The figures have basic clothing, tunics and cloaks, but there are folds in clothing and bets to add some detail. All the models had facial hair, moustaches, beards or both. These add character that shines through on painted models.

The modeller will be able to use painting styles to really bring these to life. In all, a solid group of warriors for your Welsh faction.

BWK02 Teulu Command Attacking

A batch of four models from the British and Welsh Kingdoms section of the GB website. These add a great Hearthguard presence to your Welsh factions.

These models are all armoured and posed ready to attack with shield arms raised. There were four shields with this batch and one sword. You would need to add spears or other weapons to finish these off.

Looking at the details, each model has mail armour, sashes and some have helmets. One has a horn raised to the mouth (moulded to the mouth). Lots of dynamic posing here to work with. The model detail is crisp. Flash is confined to the bases and mold lines were not obvious.

When it comes to cleanup, these are one of the easiest batches to work with I have seen - even the right
hands on three of the models are open ready for weapons to be glued. Add the shields and you are done.

A nice batch of models that get a thumbs up from this modeller.

BWK06 Combrogi Command Attacking

Another batch from the GB British and Welsh Kingdoms selection of models.

These come with a couple of shields and a hand axe. Other weapons or standards will need to be found. One model is blowing a horn (though not moulded to the mouth, it stands about 3mm away). 

All the models are unique but with some great detail, such as folds in cloaks, clasps on cloaks, belts and pouches.

This batch of models includes the classic "rude pose" model, the one making a gesture to the enemy. This is one of my favourite models and looks great taunting the enemy.  The model has a helmet, armour, sash and sword model seem very crisp and clean with very little effort was needed to clean it, some minor mold lines being the only blip. Painted examples of this model can be found on the Internet and look fantastic.
The other models have a mix of details, beards, helmets. Overall, the mold lines and flash are all but none existent and these were again an "easy clean" operation with no loss of detail. Recommended for gamers who want to add "that" model to their Welsh to "taunt" the enemy.

BWK08 Combrogi Attacking 

Another group of Warriors from the British and Welsh Kingdoms range from GB. These are more basically armed troops than the command packs.

This batch came with four shields and two hand axes. You would need to add in spears or other hand weapons to complete these. You can buy weapons packs here... link.

The models are all detailed with a mix of cloaks, clasps and beards or with tunics and belts. The models have almost no flash to speak of. Just a little touch to be removed from under one of the arms.

Mold lines were mainly visible on the outside of the legs and could be removed with a sharp blade with no loss of detail.

The curly hair and beards would add some interest to the models after painting. Basically a functional unit but crisp and clean. No issues here.

There we have it, a great batch of models suitable for Welsh Saga factions.

All figures were kindly supplied by Gripping Beast.


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