Kingdom Death, Kingdom Death… I’m sure by now most BoLS readers will have heard of this up and coming miniatures outfit. So far they’ve made news with truly twisted creations like the ones linked above. But there’s more to their catalog than just those nightmarish visions.
Up until fairly recently I had resigned my self to the position of spectator with regards to their products. I was certainly interested in what they were doing, but it was hard to justify spending money for admittedly cool collectibles when I wanted it all for the multiple miniatures games I play. Then I saw the Flower Knight.
The exaggerated proportions, the enigmatic face, and the inclusion of organic elements like the plants and vines all turn the familiar profile of a fantasy knight into something haunting and new. And I clearly wasn’t the only transfixed minis lover out there. The Flower Knight had sold out from the Kingdom Death shop before I even knew he existed. I crossed my fingers and kept my eyes on the CoolMiniorNot store knowing they’re one of the few other online retailers to stock the line. Sure enough, within a week, they had a few up for sale. I grabbed mine and watched the rest sell out in about 3 three hours. Since then its been nominated as best Fantasy miniature of the year here at BoLS and won that same nomination on TGN.
Before I get to the pictures, here’s just a little more background for those of you who don’t know what Kingdom Death is all about. Here’s the line from their website:
” Kingdom Death is a cooperative hybrid RPG / board game system, providing friends with countless adventures in dim, lantern-lit chaos and nightmares. Expect hordes of monsters and absurd boss battles to stand in the way of leveling and tricking out a perfect death machine build for your selected character. “
Other snippets scattered around their site reveal that the world of Kingdom Death is a truly horrible place where humans struggle for survival at the bottom of the food chain. There’s even a mention of a sanity points system (although that probably comes as a no-brainer to anyone who’s seen the Wet Nurse). But for now the whole thing is still a work in progress. No word at all on the rules yet. All the minis they currently sell raise the profits needed for funding the final goal of manufacturing this board game.
Here are all the contents of that neat little box from above. The simple stamped cardboard packaging on these things is very clever. It probably helps keep expenses down a ton for this very small operation. At the same time the unique handmade feel of the boxes makes for a very memorable presentation. At $29.95 the Flower Knight is a bit pricey. But at the rate these things sell out, the cost seems to be of little consequence to Kingdom Death fans.
The Flower knight is a fairly big guy. The cloth squares in the background are each an inch by an inch, meaning he’s almost 2 and a half inches tall. Kingdom Death is done in a 35 mm scale. So while everyone is a little taller than normal, this guy will still be staring down at the other characters in the setting. There’s absolutely a ton of detail. It’s also a very complex cast. This is the sort of thing I’ve started to see more and more from smaller minis manufacturers that specialize in showcase minis that are more intended for painters and collectors. Quality of the sculpt is priority one. If that means it needs to come in 14 pieces then it comes in 14 pieces. And the casting is also of a very high caliber. While there is a bit of flash here and there it’s very thin and there aren’t many mold lines.
Butcher here was released a little before the Flower Knight. Despite being pretty epic in his own right, his release went over rather quietly and he didn’t sell out until fairly recently. He’s a bit more inexpensive than the Flower Knight at $24.95.
His cleavers have some very cool bone embellishments, but its the face here I really love. Something about the eyes and the shape of the nose make it almost look Aztec. And then of course he has a cool boar skull on the top of his head. With spikes on it.
I also really like the back of this guy. All too often miniatures with cloaks end up looking a little dull from behind. But on this guy they’ve still managed to pack in a ton of detail. It also adds a cool narrative component to the piece. Remember that line from before about “dim, lantern-lit chaos and nightmares?” Its more literal than you might have expected. Many parts of the world of Kingdom Death are in total darkness all the time. To have any hope of survival humans need to carry lanterns with them wherever they go. The Butcher takes takes these lanterns from his victims as trophies.
~ So we’ve got two minis here that are a pretty far stretch from the Wet Nurse people usually associate with Kingdom Death. I personally enjoyed these guys enough that I’ve picked up a few more since. So do you guys think they look worth the price? If so… would you buy them for their own sake, or just as cool proxies for a game you already play? As for me I’m really stoked just to see the release of the game they’ve been designed for. Hopefully we’ll learn more about that soon.