Monday, 22 February 2016

Chaos Marauders (of the Apocalypse)

so i just realised ive not posted for a while., ive actually been away trapped in the chaos wastes. whilst there ive been painting a portrait of a lovely 3 armed troll i met. whilst there i also met some chaos marauders. but they had funky arms that looks like they were glued onto the shoulders as if by some weird chaos glue. so on my return. i took a trip towards avatars of war at these babies

also i was lucky enough to get the special edition chaos champion that comes exclusively with this pack. who i think is pretty cool. having never purchased any avatars of war before i was a little reluctant. but i really do not like the chaos marauders that GW produce. some of the bits from that pack like the shields and the heads are great but overall the models look piss poor!

so i took the plunge here. cost wise. this pack cost me £27 which isnt far off double the price for GW marauders. but you also get 16 figures in this pack plus the special edition champion. so i thought it was worth it, if not for the experiment alone.

so the pack turns up in a nicely little packaged DVD style case. inside the case there is no sprue. and all of the components are packed away into little bags.

so 3 little bags and a nicely detailed tips guide to constructing the figures were inside.
also i liked the little bases that came with them. whilst i dont personally use square bases. i did like the little clips on the bottom for adding magnets for unit mounting.
so first up. as the little bags are packed full of loads of little components i decide to dig out the special edition champion first.
hes a big guy. and will most likely going to end up as some tainted champion/end of level character type. im tempted to lop off the flail and change for an axe. but i guess we shall see later on.

as for the figure itself. hes pretty good. i think he has some good character about him, somewhat similar in presence to GW's nurgle lord.
the flash was pretty minimal as you can see on the picture above and after this pic was taken it took me less than 5 minutes to fully clean up ready for painting. however one of his pectorals seems to be a little warped from the casting. but it should be easy enough to resculpt. in comparison though to some of the more recent figures ive purchased, he doesnt need half as much work to get into a paintable state so for that its win here on this one.

next up it was time to dig out those components. the 2 remaining bags are basically the same components, from 2 sprues.
so each bag is a dupe of each other containing 8 sets for character creation. totalling upto 16.

so first up the legs
pretty static but decent enough. as you can see from the image, the details isnt quite as crisp as the champion. but leftover sprue trimmings are pretty minimal. 4 sets of 4 different leg types is plenty i think. although for me personally i would of preferred more from the second row. as they have less detail on them, this would give me more scope for sculpting individual details. but thats a personal thing so not really a viable option so say anything is bad here.

the torso's, again 4 sets of 4. details is ok. but not crisp.
nothing too special here. but i would like to point out that as a component box set. im already noticing the grooves and ball joins on each component. these clearly are a good design choice as it ensures that these dont actually need pinning and gives a good connection point for glueing.

this moves us nicely onto the arm options. again we have 4 sets of 4 for each left and right arm. the one thing i wasnt expecting here was the shoulder pads to be part of the arms. it would of been nice here to of had the choice to add the pads if i so wished. but i suspect this was a design choice versus cost. the design being that they help cover the joins of the arms. the cost being that an extra 32 components would of been needed. but they seem pretty decent. scale wise they are on par with GW so im sure if i really wanted to. i could dip into my bits box to create the odd marauder without shoulder pads. Again. flash is minimal. and detail is ok.

as for the weapons, i was a little disappointed.
the level of choice isnt that great. so i will most definately be dipping into the bits box here.
the weapons themselves arent that bad. but do seem to have the lowest detail/crsipness to the sculpts.
the resin used for this pack is very different from the champion that comes with it. and is a soapy sort of feeling material. even trimming the flash feel kind of soapy. this isnt a bad thing. but cant help but feel some details have gotten lost through the production process.

the standard and musician peices (x2 on standard)
the drums look ok. but i have no need for musicians or standard bearers in my dungeons. so i think i will ultimately end up using these as bits to some dungeony goodness.
the standard itself is pretty big. but ultimately poorly designed. there is no ball joint here for gluing the standard onto the handle. and is too thin to pin. i think from a design point they should of made the bar thicker to at least allow it to be drilled. i can see this breaking off on a lot of people if not joined together properly. as for the standards themselves. i wish i had these when i was constructing the double doors ive been adding the finishing touches too. because the top half of the standard would of looked great ottached over one of the double doors. but i think ill still be able to get good use out of them. the skulls as bits. could even use a good portion as part of a chaos styled throne.

next up we have the shields
again like the weapons you can see that the detailing on these isnt the best. the details most likely getting softened through production and losing their detail. i dont like any of these shields. i'll make use of them. but would of liked more choice rather than the standard 4 sets of 4 that dominate this pack.

and finally the heads. there are 9 heads x2 so you get an extra 2. here. sadly. they arent that great
i like the face mack guy (middle centre) and the helmed options will make good chaos warrior variants. the top knotted head option...ive seen that somewhere before.
again though i cant knock the castings of these other than the lack of crisp detail. the mould lines are minimal on all of the components. i will most likely be diving into the bits box for added options here. but i will use a few of these. which yet. i dont know.

Summary

sadly the only real plus marks i can give this set is the special champion provided and the variant option over GW's chaos marauders.
there are no extras other than 2 heads a standard and drum. so it doesnt help tot up the bitz box collections much.
i dont like GW's marauders but they are better quality components than these, i think the general design of these is superior to GW's option. but the quality is lacking. and the lack of extra options is a real let down, too few shields, too few weapons, the shoulder pads being fixed to the arms. and lack of extras.
the paintjobs on the advert push the models perception of detail far beyond what you actually get. lets face it. everyone wants to sell their products. and to do so. you have to have great paintjobs. but i think that the paintjob is so good that it distracts from the models themselves. and not really showing them off in true light. (or the promo stuff actually was better quality than the finished product??)
i think ill have fun throwing these together and im sure that they will look great once ive added my own little touches.
are they worth the 27 quid i paid? definitely not!
Models of this quality i would expect to spend no more than about 15 quid.
luckily i think my bits box will save the day for me in terms of options and hopefully once painted up. im sure they will look great. if you are looking for an alternative option for chaos marauders. then ill give this the thumbs up. but dont expect to be wowed :)

STAR RATING (out of 5) = A generous 3 stars


i have this guy due in the post this week too, hopefully he looks as good as that image does. and not a poor imitation of.

think i was too harsh? anyone else tried any other avatars of war products out? I'd like to know.


(i still have lots of things in the works. and they will start tumbling off the painting production line very soon. so keep your eyes peeled :))

Till next time