Thursday, 13 December 2012

Spotlight on....Black Scorpion Miniatures

Sorry there haven’t been many posts recently but this is a busy season for work and the painting projects I’ve been working on are destined to be Christmas presents so I can’t share them until after the holidays.

But what I can do is introduce you to some new miniatures suppliers.  I think its pretty apparent that I’m a big fan of Reaper, especially what they are doing for the hobby with their Bones line but I’ve spoken about them on many occasions (and will no doubt speak about them in the future a lot too). So this post will be all about…..BlackScorpion Miniatures.

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'

I want to have a look at four of their lines, Pirates, Old West Tombstone, and their modern day US Marines and Iraqi Militia.  Please be aware that none of these miniatures were painted by me.


'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'
Now I really like the direction Black Scorpion has taken with these miniatures.  Its fairly easy to find Pirate leaders from the better miniature suppliers out there but the rank and file models are quite a bit harder to get your hands on in my experience, especially in the quality you get from Black Scorpion.  Each model has real character, both in the face and in the overall look but still looks realistic.    

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'
There is a tendancy for sculpters to make models on a ‘heroic’ scale,  28mm miniatures that look great but are about as realistic as a cartoon character.  They have their place and I’ve painted a lot of them but for some games a realistic look is more appropriate. 

They do make models with a full complement of parrots, wooden legs and eye patches but they still look like real people and not like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a tricorn hat. Their weapons are realistically sized and the proportions are very accurate. 


'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'

Now these are a treat, especially the bearded model on the left which I am just going to have to paint at some point.  Overall they look great and the models available would contribute well to a Deadlands or generic Old West game.  

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'
The only obstacle to me is I couldn’t reuse any of my existing models for this kind of game and there isn’t an easy (read cheap!) way to bulk out your collection of Old West models.  I’d have to buy something like 50 models to run my first Old West game (Cavalry, Indians, Cowboys & Townsfolk) and get all the scenery made.  

Despite all that, I suspect that an Old West campaign may be on the horizon in the future, these are just too good to pass up.

US Marines

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'

My regular DM has run some really successful modern games, mainly D20 Modern and Stargate games and if I’d known about these models I would have snapped them up.  My only criticism of these models is they lack character.  

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'
Although the proportions are great and the attention to detail is impressive they lack the individualism that would make them great player character models.  

Now I’m pretty sure these were designed with Skirmish games in mind so its not really fair for me to be too critical about them but I’d just have loved them to have the same individuality that is such a highlight of the Pirates or Old West models.  Black Scorpion does however do an army deal of 32 US Marines for £50 which is real value for money!

Iraqi Militia

'Copyright Black Scorpion Miniatures'

These are my least favourite of Black Scorpion’s models.  As generic Iraqi bad guys they are good enough but not quite what I was looking for. 

The proportions are as consistently accurate as the other lines with the minor exception of the white shirted insurgent with the blue headband who seems to have a pistol that’s almost as long as his whole arm.  That's not really a big deal though and I do understand that pistols tend to look too small if they're scaled accurately.

The faces are obscured by masks or beards which limits their expression and for some obscure reason they’re all barefoot and or wearing ripped off shorts.    

I’m not sure if this is a deliberate choice to represent the Iraqi Militia as  faceless and desperate but it just makes them look less threatening than they should be.  I’d have liked to have seen some sinister looking     paramilitaries wearing body armour, they could have then been used as terrorists as well as desert dwelling madmen.


Overall I’m hugely impressed with the Black Skorpion miniatures and can’t wait to get my hands on some.  The quality of sculpting is excellent and the character that they show will make them a favourite around our games table.  

At just £3.50 for a single resin figure and £8 for four they represent incredible value.  Resin miniatures from Hasslefree , which I think are pretty good value, are generally between £10 and £20 each.

Bear in mind you can get a single plastic "Finecast" figure from Games Workshop for the same price.  But talking about "Finecast" is a whole different post, one hopefully you'll see soon. 

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