Well I’ve gotten my hands on three of Wyrd’s latest Malifaux plastic sets to give you a close-up look at what these miniatures are really like. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty frikkin sweet.
Wyrd Miniature’s recent venture into plastic isn’t really news anymore. In fact if you pay attention to BoLS you should have already seen some of their plastics in our Gencon report here.
So here’s the back of the first box we’ll be delving into: Dark Debts. The pictures above are screencaps of the digital sculpts used for the minis in this set. For those of you unfamiliar with Malifaux, every “Crew” (the Malifaux descriptor for army) is centered around a powerful named character or “Master.” While Malifaux is divided into factions like most miniature games, each Master is further individualized by having a selection of troops that they work particularly well with. To this end, every Master is sold as part of a starter set that also contains those accompanying troops. Each starter set has a name. Dark Debts is the starter set for the brand new Master: Jakob Lynch. He is accompanied by three illuminated and his Totem: the Hungering Darkness. These beings are united by their ability to manipulate the Brilliance: an Arcane energy source that emanates from the Hungering Darkness.
This starter set is unusual for at least three very important reasons. First, the Hungering Darkness is fairly different from most Totems. While most Totems must be purchased with army points (Soulstones as they’re called in Malifaux), the Darkness comes with Jakob Lynch for free. It also comes with a list of abilities almost as long as Jakob’s. The two of them basically work together as a single Master. Second, the contents of this box can be fielded with two different factions: the Neverborn and the brand new Ten Thunders. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this is one of the first Malifaux starter sets to be made of plastic.
It’s a sprue! Having played Malifaux off and on since late 2009, I gotta tell you it’s a strange feeling to hold this particular starter set in my hands. At $40 this is the most expensive of Wyrd’s new plastic starters so far. However that’s not a bad price when you consider that there are two character models within, and that this is about half a force worth of models. So how’s the detail? See for yourselves. Below are a few close-ups that seemed particularly well-suited to showing this set off.
Jakob’s skeleton pal is very well defined. If you take a close look at the cards it’s playing with you can see that they each actually have a border sculpted on.
This strange fish-like monstrosity is a manifestation of the Brilliance overwhelming one of the illuminated.
A selection of arms.
And a very nice face.
I’ve quickly developed a real fondness for the Hungering Darkness mini. The oversized head gives it an almost infant-like quality that’s just too dang weird for me not to love. I find myself compelled to make strange little growling noises on its behalf when I pick it up. And check out that tail… It’s bifurcated!
Here’s a more straight-on view so you can really get a good look at that gaping maw.
Here’s our first Illuminated. Isn’t she lovely?
This one looks like he’s being devoured by his own manifestation of the Brilliance. It’s cool to see Wyrd really taking advantage of this new medium. The weight and cost of material would have made a piece like this impossible in metal; at least for a rank and file model like one of these Illuminated. I just wish there was a little more surface to affix him to his base. I guess he’s light enough that he should be easy to pin in place.
Let’s look a little more closely at some of these guys. Whoever planned out these sprues went to a fair amount of trouble to make sure they could get some very specific results. Take this guy for example.
There are actually 4 pieces making up the body of his manifestation.
This kit also offers the option for some customization. This Illuminated has three separate options for its left arm.
And the female illuminated has the option to be assembled with the tentacle face I used, or with the giant mandibles and grotesque tongue shown on the back of the box. The two options are different enough that they even come with separate torsos and arms.
Here’s our next kit. Willie the Demolitionist is a new character for the arcanist faction.
Nothing like a deranged lunatic with a wheelbarrow full of dynamite. While the detail on all that dynamite is incredible, its the face that I really like. Not only was the detail captured really well, but it’s also nice to see that the cartoonish style that sometimes characterizes Malfaux minis has survived the transition to plastic.
And here’s the back of the sprue.
Our final mini is Lazarus. This guy is the first plastic mini Wyrd released and should have been on the shelves of your LGS since August. At $18, this big robot seems like one heck of a bargain. He’s also quite possibly the most interesting kit of the bunch.
He gets his very own vac-form tray.
And look… instructions! I have to admit it wouldn’t have hurt to have a set of these for the Dark Debts box.
What makes Lazarus so intriguing is that if you assemble him correctly, he’s fully posable. Take this leg for instance. See that hole where the pieces join up?
Once you’ve gotten those pieces in place its time to grab one of these pegs. If you glue them into place correctly you’ll have a Lazarus with articulated legs and arms.
Here’s a close-up of the chest plate and a very cool grenade launcher.
And here’s the head.
These tubes are cast in soft plastic to ensure they fit into place properly.
Overall these are some really impressive kits. Especially given that they represent this company’s first forays into a new medium. The detail is a little soft in some places but I think these guys will all paint up great. At any rate, I’ve tried to take enough pictures to let you guys decide for yourselves.
While that might be it for minis, I do have another new Wyrd product to show off today. While these are ostensibly just another way for players to customize their forces there are some other purposes they can serve. For one thing, Malifaux uses 50mm bases for blast templates. I think I prefer the yellow ones for this purpose.
In addition, 30 mm bases come into play a lot in Malifaux to mark counters. Corpse and Scrap counters tend to be the ones that come up most, but there are also mission objectives and the like. These will definitely come in handy for any Malifaux player without the time or inclination to model their own.
~ I’m really curious to see where this new path takes Malifaux. And I can’t wait to see what shows up in their next round of new releases.