Chronicles of the Wayfarer is a forthcoming range of rather nice 15mm fantasy themed miniatures. Fellow gamer and painter John M put me on to the range and encouraged me to join the ‘launch’ painting competition. So the images you see here are those that I recently entered into the competition.
First off though, the miniatures. They differ from most 15mm offering in that they are produced in resin. At this scale resin has it’s draw-backs – it’s light and fragile. It does however still share the benefits of larger models in that the level of detail and to an extent pose options, are far greater. And detailed these minis are.
To my eye it is clear that these have been sculpted electronically rather than in the traditional method. Nothing wrong with that but there are tell-tale signs. I am not sure if some of the ‘extreme’ sizes of shields and some weapons are a result of the sculpting process or a casting requirement, but some components will give AoS sculpts a run for their money in terms of ‘heroic proportions’. Again, in keeping with the overall aesthetic and theme.
But the level of detail on these needs to be seen in the flesh to believe. It was a challenge painting them up. Add to that a bit of an issue with ‘scale’. These are true 15mm in size. So not really a ‘problem’ except that the vast majority of other 15mm fantasy manufactures have long ago jumped on the scale-creep bandwagon. Apart from some older sculpts from Splintered Light Miniatures I struggled to find miniatures in my collection that did not make these rather ‘heroic’ looking guys a little less heroic than intended. It also meant they were both ‘insanely detailed’ and ‘small’ to boot. Paint brush challenge.
The fragility of resin is going to be an issue for some folk. Of the four minis only one had enough resin at the base-end of things to pin. Two of the minis are multipart. The female warrior is suppose to have a back-flag/totem which I missed in the packaging. The knight with the warhammer had an option to be armed with a sword arm. I initially went with the sword. I clumsily knocked over the mini mounted on the painting cork and boom – sword gone. Literally. I couldn’t find the missing blade that snapped off. Looking at the wider miniature range I think this ‘prone’ to breakage is rare. And resin, being lighter, is easier to repair with a dot of superglue.
Personally I can live with the ‘resin’ issues. Stylistically and the detail level are amazing and presented a real painting challenge to me. It may be asking too much of some painters though as these guys demand attention to detail and not all wargamers are painters first.
As to the competition. For those that are interested in the details they can be seen on Chronicles of the Wayfarer Facebook page. In short a clever marketing strategy to get a whole bunch of active bloggers who focus on painting miniatures, preferably 15mm, have them enter, paint, post blog posts and reviews etc and help spread the word. Great idea which I am sure will pay off for CotW. I think around ten blogger/painters are involved from around the world though as today – 21st April is the ‘publish/end date’ for the reviews and competition entries – I am not entirely sure. I have little hope of a place but it’s good to rub shoulders with many of the painters who’s work I’ve admired online over the last several years.
The pictures. As mentioned, four miniatures with front and back shots of each was request plus a group shot. As usual, ott with three shots of each and a couple of paired shots. I took pictures on a plain blue background and my usual ‘photo setting’. I preferred the latter and entered them plus the paired shots with the blue background.
Note on bases – rather than the intended ‘lava terrain’ I went with rivers of blood as it meant I could stick to my normal base colour palette. Plus I found it questionable that a warrior, armoured or not, would willing straddle a stream of molten lava. Bit hot.
Can I recommend them? Absolutely. There is no taking away that these are ‘very fine’ and ‘highly stylistic’ but I like both factors though some will not. If the 15mm scale were less of an issue there is little doubt I’d be buying these in bucket loads. As it is, I am reminded of White Dragon‘s initial foray into ‘fine resin’ 15mm sci-fi. Comparably lovely miniatures but ‘too small’ to stand next to current 15mm sci-fi miniatures. After feedback they bumped up the scale (an advantage of digital sculpting). Result.
If there is a need – though I suspect there will be plenty of other scale comparison shots on offer – I’ll append such at a later date.
I will certainly be picking up more Chronicles of the Wayfarer miniatures in the future as they become available (US shipping/customs aside, grrr). Clearly a work of love and a bold attempt to bring some very fine miniatures to the 15mm fantasy world – especially for painters and collectors.
Find out more – and vote in the painting competition – here on Facebook.