Monday, August 25, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Byzantines

Those nice guys at Gripping Beast sent along some Byzantines from their range of 28mm miniatures for me to have a look at. Having played Saga against Byzantines a number of times I am fascinated with the way they make best use of combined arms to really push their opponents to the max (and off the cliff in my case!)

Having taken a look at these models, I really want to go and finish off a 6 point Byzantine force fairly soon.

Here's a look at the models I received...

Byzantine Hearthguard Cavalry (Gripping Beast models)

Byzantine General (SZ01)

This figure has a very stately pose, commanding the field, rather than a dynamic one. If you take a look at the painted figure in the link to the Gripping Beast website, you can see how good the finished model can look.

Mounted Byzantine General
The figure sits neatly on top of his mount without any adjustment and should glue on easily.
The mount has next to no mould lines and only a tiny bit of flash was seen under the rear left leg which just wouldn't be seen on war game table. The models come with a plastic Renedra cavalry base.

Closer look at the Warlords horse...
The Warlord figure has plenty of detail in the armour, belts and beard. There is very little in the way of mould lines and no obvious flash. The figure is straightforward to prepare and one of the cleanest I have seen from GB.

you can see the detail on this Byzantine General

Turning the Warlord over, you can see that there are folds in the cloak to allow the painter to add some nice shading. All in, a great model that rightly takes its place as your faction Leader. There are no weapons or shield to attach, just a classic pose!

The Generals cloak...

 Byzantine Kavallaroi - Hearthguard spear (SZ02)

The depth of detail on these mounted elite cavalry is clear. The are great looking sculpts that should really add a lot to your Saga faction.

A closer look at the Cavalrymen.
There is a little cleanup to do with the blade of a small craft knife - you can see above some flash under the armpits of the models. With care, this should not detract from the models. The figures sit well on their horses (see later in this article for those). The equipment choice for each model is soft metal spear, sword and shield.... the pose is pretty straightforward, spear up and shield protecting the left side. The hands are modelled open, but will probably need a little tweak with a file or knife blade to get the spear sitting just as you may want it. I prefer to get the hand to fit like a glove to get maximum contact for the superglue.

Weapons options for the cavalry
These mounted models come with plastic Renedra cavalry bases.

Byzantine Psiloi (Javelin Levy) - (SZ06)

This unit is fairly uniform, with a little variation (some with hat, some with pre-cast buckler type shield).

They are a fairly dynamic bunch of 12 models. You can probably see a tiny bit of flash in the picture below, mainly around the base of one figure. Cleanup should be pretty quick, just some slight mould lines up the side of the boots and occasionally up the underneath of a raised right arm. There is a little less detail to these models, but then they are the "peasant class" in Saga, so there is no fine armour to paint! they come with Renedra round plastic bases and soft metal spears. Some will not have shields at all.

Levy javelin men
There were 16 spears in the pack I got, and looking at the unit on the GB website (see the SZ06 link above) you can see some of the models without shields are holding a spare javelin - nice touch and adds some more variation. Use tunic colour variation to further break up the unit.

plenty of folds in the clothing to give detail...

Byzantine Hearthguard bowmen (SZ03)

These guys have great detail and all came ready to shoot. There are four bows (below) to glue into the hands and some swords as well for backup! The models are nice and clean with plenty of detail.

Mounted archers
Very little in the way of mould lines on these guys. There is some flash under the arms and to the side of the neck on tow of the models in this unit. The cleanup with a sharp knife should be quick and painless as it won't affect the detailing of the armour as long as you are careful. These mounted models come with plastic Renedra cavalry bases.

depth to the armour
The bowmen come with...bows, and more bows... and swords....

equipment for the bowmen
Mounts for the Hearthguard cavalry... they have a little flash (a vent pipe by the look of it) on the end of the tail and a slight mould line along the back. This can be cleared in seconds with a sharp craft knife and should not cause any loss of detail.

all the cavalrymen come with these types of mounts

Side by side Hearthguard.... scary looking troops! Good sculpts I think, well done GB on another good looking Saga faction!

The detail on the Hearthguard cavalry is clear


The General and Hearthguard models have a lot of detail and will really add a good looking force to your collection of Saga models. The Levy are less detailed, but as a peasant class, you won't expect too much. They are functional after all! Give them some shaded tunics in various colours and they will look great.

Thanks to Gripping Beast for supplying these models for review.



Top Posts Within 30 Days

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...