Saturday, September 07, 2013

Malifaux Quality: Be Careful What You Ask For

No, no.  Don't get up.
When I first got into Malifaux a year and a half ago I was amazed by the aesthetic of the miniatures but I was also stunned by the inconsistency of quality.  Some figures were great, with a good balance of design and execution.  Others looked as if they were made in a decade gone by and I was surprised to see that they were only a few years old.  Even Teddy, the first model that drew me to the game, seemed to be have been made with archaic tools as he was menacing to look at from the front, but completely flat when viewed from the side.

I've heard a lot of reasons as to why this was, but they all boil down to the fact that Wyrd has exploded at an amazing pace and as a result some of the models that for other companies might have represented stepping stones were current range for the young company.  That was fine by me, the models were dripping with flavour and I wanted them all (well, almost all).  Each one seemed to whisper a little story, for the first time in a long time I felt that the models were not game pieces as much as characters; fighting was not what the only thing they were for, fighting was just a thing that they did as part of a broader existence.  Still though, there was a great disparity between models like the Witchling Stalkers and Colette's Showgirls and I craved a higher quality of manufacture.

Last year, everything changed.  With the release of the Ten Thunders faction boxes and the introduction of modern Malifaux plastics, Wyrd went back to the drawing board and gave us a tweaked design, incredible computer generated sculpts and blazing levels of detail.  We went from gawky metal Ten Thunder Brothers to dynamic plastic Ten Thunder Torakage.  The news sculpts were of a quality almost unheard of, rivaling Games Workshop for quality and consistency of plastics while surpassing them in terms of casting and intricacy.

This new style has continued into the Malifaux 2e releases, with each of the reconcepted Masters getting the treatment.  Arms are longer, wrists are thinner, and nary is there a place thick enough to work a pin vice.  The new models are over-the-top dynamic, gorgeous and delicate.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

This is hard to say, but Wyrd, I feel like your models may now be too awesome.  I love them, I love owning them, I love painting them, but the thing is, when it comes to miniatures I also love playing with them.  My Guild Riflemen are complicated little statues, but they are more akin to Royal Dalton than Privateer Press when it comes to ruggedness.  Sure, Death Marshals leaping off of flaming coffins look cool on my shelf, but how on Earth am I going to get them to the game store?  You sold me a plastic Beckoner and a metal base insert, but her ankles are thinner than my drill bit.  How am I supposed to even assemble this?

I'm not mad really, if I had to choose between models that stretch me and require work or models that are slap-dash and don't, I know what I'll choose every time.  I guess all I'm saying is that I really can't handle any more delicacy.  Let's draw a line here and call it done, ok?

Broken Justice

Hey Justice, you know that's only half a sword, right?
Lady Justice is the latest casualty of this strange scenario.  Her blade was so thin and so long that I accidentally bent it while I was cutting it from the sprue.  One mishandled drop later and she can no longer properly represent her 2" melee range.  No matter how many times I tried to glue it in place, it just wouldn't hold.

I had a similar situation with Lucas McCabe when one of his arms broke (there was an extra arm in the box thankfully) and again when assembling the Guild Riflemen (one of them just doesn't get a knife now).

So the solution to my Justice dilemma:  I went out and bought a piece of brass that is 1/32" by 1/32" by 6" long and I'm going to have to make her a new sword.  I will cut the existing one off the model and attach the replacement blade to the hilt so I can use her cheek as a second contact point so I can get a better hold.  I want a model I can bring to the table after all, not just a pretty showpiece.  It should work, I'll post the results when I'm done.

The other solution:  I guess I have to grow up and be a little more careful with my toys.

Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I feel a lot of miniature companies are going this route of incredibly fine detail. And while it looks great in pictures, it is really fragile. Case in point, Forge World has been releasing Primarch figures over the last year or so, and each one I have purchased has arrived with multiple broken parts. I did not even get the chance to break them myself, ha ha.

    I have yet to get any of the new malifaux miniatures, but am excited to. I am really interested in the plastic quality. GW plastic is fairly soft, but that makes it more durable (or at least more then most I have worked with).