Monday, October 13, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Crusaders

I was happy to receive a group of Saga Crusader models from Gripping beast to review. These models go with the new "Crescent and Cross" expansion for the game and look great on their website.

Lets take a look at these models, starting with an image from Gripping Beast of a nicely painted warband. Hats off to the artist... the colour scheme really draws you in and helps show what a variety of units you can field...

A Gripping Beast 4 point starter Crusader warband - (copyright Gripping Beast)

This is a single piece casting with a very action-oriented pose.

Detail is good with various layers of armour and clothing.

The back of the model is detailed too, with a belt holding a sword as a backup weapon....
The shield has a minor casting line on it that should cleanup with no problems.
The base of the model is clean and flat with nothing other than a little piece of excess metal to remove from the edge.

There is very little for the modeller to do to clean this one up... no flash or obvious mould lines to clean up on the main body.

Once the shield and base have been dealt with you can just glue to the supplied large round Renedra base an then undercoat....

A nice fresh cast that presented no issues. The figure makes a great leader and looks the part.

There were four models in this group, all different to each other. The models are chunkier than the other models in this review batch. This seems to be the armour they wear. They certainly look different to the Warriors!

Lots of billowing cloak action here...! You may notice the smallest of flash on the inside of one of the models (tall man with upright spear) and one has the very faintest of mould lines on the side of a cloak, but nothing really to worry about.

They come with hand weapons and spears as required . Two of the models will require the hand drilling out as they are cast solid. The actual figures you get seem to have a mix of swords and spears.

Again, some interesting variation in detail. You will have to give the bottom of the bases a quick scrape to flatten them off for gluing to the plastic Renedra bases that come with them.

These are a group of eight various warriors with shields, spears and at least one swordsman. The weapon hands vary, most will need drilling out to take a wire spear. The other have open hands or no hands at all (these have swords with attached hands to glue on at the wrist).

The variation in pose and headgear helps to break up the fact that all of these have cloaks and kite shields. The painter needs to open up the palette a little to get the most out of these models.

That said, you can see details on the belts of some models that can enhance the look after painting.
For the modeller, some of these figures had a little flash, one on the head, another on the legs, and some minor mould lines to a few (again very very little to really notice).

The bases had a little metal to trim off the sides. Flattening the bases should be very quick and easy ready to fasten to the supplied Renedra round bases.

A variety of weapons to fit..... hand weapons to plug and glue, spear hands will need drilling to hold the soft wire spears.

A nice little group of figures that look good due to some variety in posing.

These eight warrior bowmen came in two sets of four variations. All come with bows that need to be glued onto the model at the wrist.

They make a pretty dynamic unit, but a little variety in colour will be needed to break up that "samey" feel from having only four poses.

The bases of the models are pretty flat and only minor cleanup will be needed to seat them on the supplied Renedra bases.

The dress and headgear is all pretty similar, though the leggings and boots add a little variation.

I didn't see any obvious flash on the bodies themselves, but there are some mould lines across the top of the arms/shoulders that should scrape down nicely with the edge of a sharp craft knife with no ill effect to details.

Just "plug and glue" or is that "glue and plug your enemy". A neat way of fixing bows to wrists!

Use colour to bring variety and they should look great on the battlefield.


All in, I think these models are good quality castings with little in the way of preparation needed to get them to the undercoating stage.

There is a lot of variation in dress and arms details to keep the painter interested and make for a striking warband on the tabletop. I will be expanding these out to a 6 point warband very soon.

This warband can be found here... link and the Saga dice can be found here... link.

If you would like to comment, please go to the forum post below....

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